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Sat 30 May 2009 02:40 PM

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Amnesty condemns Saudi for public beheading

Body of murderer hung in public square as deterrent to others - local media.

Amnesty International condemned on Saturday the execution of a Saudi man for double murder and the public display of his body in the Gulf Arab state.

The kingdom, a staunch US ally, beheaded Ahmad Adhib bin Askar Al-Shamalani Al-Anzi on Friday.

His body was hung in a public square in the capital Riyadh in what state media said was a deterrent.

The Saudi-owned daily Al-Hayat, which like websites showed pictures of the execution, said authorities had left the body hanging until late at night.

Rights activists said authorities only rarely use this form of deterrent to try to stop spreading crimes.

"It is horrific that beheading and crucifixions still happen," Amnesty International said in a statement on Saturday, adding that some 102 people had been executed last year in the world's largest oil exporter.

Saudi Arabia, which is also a member of the G20 economic bloc, usually carries out executions by public beheading for murder, rape, drug smuggling and, increasingly, armed robbery.

Saudi Arabia says it is implementing Islamic sharia law to the letter and that sharia ensures full rights for Muslims and non-Muslims, who must abide by the laws of the desert country.

The executions come days before a visit by US President Barack Obama for talks with King Abdullah. (Reuters)

The Analyst 10 years ago

The Kingdom should be commended for continuing to punish the cruelest acts by criminals committing murder by hanging. If the US and Europe had this we would not be living in fear with serial murderers. It is a definite deterrent that the United States and Europe should put on the their books. Have you all seen the murders in the US?? Obama doesn't have to worry about it because he has the secret service protecting about the rest of the 300 million plus individuals residing in the US?? It has turned into Afghanistan without it even being a war! So..leave the Kindom of Saudi Arabia alone...Amnesty International... wou;ld you feel the way you do IF this murderer had taken the life of one of your children or loved ones?? Cheers to all.

Dude 10 years ago

Stop playing double standards (as you did in the 1991 war when flooded the world about Iraq violations in Kuwait during the seven month of occupation and you went silent on crimes committed by Kuwaitis after liberation... I was a volunteer in Cairo between 1990 and 1992) and learn to accept the fact this system is the best to protect the society from rapist, child molesters, serial killers and killers. When a sick mind is planning for any crime see the public beheading of another sick mind he will think 1000 times before he commit his evil plan and mostly he will straight up.

Gloria 10 years ago

This penalty is clearly stated in the Islamic Penal Code so if a person commits the crime then he knows exactly what to expect -do we see any outrage when this happens in other countries that are not of Middle East origin - No. Each country has the right to have itsown penal code and there should be no interference from other countries regarding that.

Ibrahim Quazi 10 years ago

Kind Attn: M/S ASMNESTY; All the previous three comments are in favour of the law imposed by the Saudi Government. Heard of the old adage "Spare the rod & spoil the child"? Can you ever imagine that throughout Saudi Arabia, as the call for prayer is answered by the people who hurry for prayer, they leave their shops open and there is absolutely no robbery or their goods are pilfered. Where else in the world does this happen? A fine example of law being implemented and followed by the book. I think USA should think of adopting the same...

Mr Kevin 10 years ago

Obviously that guy didn't have enough blood money to pay out to save his skin. Funny how crimes are only punishable by death if you are poor and have no influence. If you can afford to pay people off then the Islamic Penal Code they are so fond of makes an exception.

Amir Qayyum 10 years ago

Its Absolutely right to have a public beheading the divine law says it, the so called Modern Countries are not able to curb the crime due to lenient laws. Apply Shariah and get results, no double standards at all. Compare the crime rate in your land & with Saudi Arabia then say anythign against the Shariah law, I am sure none will have the face to speak against it.

Doug 10 years ago

Why let facts get in the way of a good argument eh? Let's face a simple truth here. Western countries did away with beheading years ago. Yet I'll wager the murder rate back in medieval times in somewhere like England was far higher than it is today. The reason Saudi Arabia typically has lower crime rate than most Western countries is not because it has strict punishments; it is because Saudis generally take their religion extremely seriously and fear not some earthly punishment but a divine one. It's worth bearing in mind that the US has the death penalty but a higher murder rate, while Greece, Norway, Ireland, Austria and Luxembourg all have LOWER murder rates than KSA and do not have the death penalty. The death penalty is not the definitive factor in reducing a crime rate, other social factors are at work, and commentators who suggest that the only reason Saudi Arabia has less crime is because of the death penalty are doing the Saudi people a great insult to their character.