Saudi Arabia beheading nearly two people per week this year
Most legal proceedings in Saudi Arabia take place behind close doors. Defendants are rarely allowed formal representation by a lawyer, and may be convicted solely on the basis of confessions obtained under torture or other ill-treatment, duress or deception. In many cases they are not informed of the progress of legal proceedings against them.
Saudi Arabia has a high rate of executions. In 2011 at least 82 executions took place; more than triple the figure of at least 27 executions in 2010. In 2012, a similar number of people were executed.
Out of the 10 executed in the first five and half weeks of 2013, four were executed for drug related offences, and four were foreign nationals, including Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan domestic worker, who was only 17 at the time of her alleged crime. As a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Saudi Arabia is prohibited from imposing the death penalty on persons who were under 18 years old at the time of the alleged offence for which they were convicted.
Saudi Arabia applies the death penalty for a wide range of crimes, including drug offences, apostasy, sorcery and witchcraft. Such offences do not fall into the category of most serious crimes embodied in international standards, which require that the scope of crimes punishable by death must be limited to those involving intentional killing.
Posted by: tipper 2013-02-11