Saudi Arabia could replace beheading as its traditional method of execution with death by firing squad, according to a newspaper report in the kingdom.
English language daily Arab News reported that the Ministry of Interior had authorised regional governors in the country to use firing squads as an alternative.
The newspaper, citing a circular distributed to Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution’s branches throughout Saudi Arabia’s provinces, said governors of their respective regions have the power to decide an appropriate method of execution following the handing down of a death sentence by a judge.
Arab News said that death by firing squad is not a breach of Islamic, or Sharia, law.
According to rights group Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia has executed 17 people so far this year, compared to 82 in 2011, and a similar number last year.