SAUDI Arabia’s justice system allows for capital punishment in some of the most horrific ways. We explain what their laws are and how many people h
SAUDI Arabia’s justice system allows for capital punishment in some of the most horrific ways.
We explain what their laws are and how many people have been executed in the oppressive kingdom so far in 2019.
What are Saudi Arabia’s capital punishment laws?
Saudi Arabia retains the death penalty for a large number of offences including drug trafficking and “sorcery” as well as murder.
The system is based on Shariah law, which the Saudis say is rooted in Islamic tradition and the Quran.
While they insist trials are conducted to the strictest standards of fairness, evidence has emerged from the country to suggest the opposite.
Trials are reported to have lasted a day and confessions extracted under torture.
The country has no written penal code and no code of criminal procedure and judicial procedure.
That allows courts wide powers to determine what constitutes a criminal offence and what sentences crimes deserve.
The only means of appeal is directly to the King, who decides whether the condemned lives or dies.
What are some of the punishments?
The list of punishments makes for grim reading.
Beheading remains the most common form of execution and the sentence traditionally carried out in a public square on a Friday after prayers.
The practice of “crucifixion” refers to the court-ordered public display of the body after execution, along with the separated head if beheaded.
Stoning remains a punishment for adultery for women in Saudi Arabia.
Abd ul-Latif Noushad, an Indian citizen, was sentenced to have his right eye gouged out in retribution for his role in a brawl in which a Saudi citizen was injured.
Those convicted of insulting Islam can also expect to be flogged.
Amputation is a punishment for theft, with the person convicted having their right hand removed.
What has Amnesty International said?
On April 26 2019, horrifically 37 people were executed.
Lynn Maalouf Middle East Research Director at Amnesty International said: “Today’s mass execution is a chilling demonstration of the Saudi Arabian authorities callous disregard for human life.
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“It is also yet another gruesome indication of how the death penalty is being used as a political tool to crush dissent from within the country’s Shi’a minority.”
As of April 28, at least 104 people have been executed by Saudi Arabia in 2019 – at least 44 of them are foreign nationals, the majority of whom were convicted of drug-related crimes.
In 2018, Saudi Arabia carried out 149 executions during the whole year.