Riyadh, May 17: Saudi Arabia on Sunday beheaded a Pakistani tiol convicted of drug trafficking, bringing to 84 the number of such executions in the kingdom in 2015.
The convict, identified as Iftikhar Ahmed Mohammed Ayat, was beheaded in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, the Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. The man was found guilty of attempting to traffic heroin into the kingdom in balloons concealed in his stomach.
In recent months, a significant number of foreign tiols and workers have been beheaded in the kingdom, triggering an outcry from human rights organisations. In 2014, Saudi Arabia beheaded a total of 87 convicts. Saudi authorities claim that the executions show the kingdom’s commitment to “maintaining security and realising justice”.
Saudi Arabia has come under particular criticism from human rights groups for the executions. Amnesty Intertiol says Saudi Arabia has one of the highest execution rates in the world.
Muslim clerics have also slammed Riyadh for indicting and then executing suspects without giving them a chance to defend themselves, describing the Saudi authorities as uncivilised. Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi law. (IANS)