In a horrific practice of “justice,” Amina bint Abdul Halim bin Salem Nasser, a Saudi Arabian national, was executed on Monday, after being convicted of practicing sorcery, which is banned in the ultra-conservative kingdom, the interior ministry said.
Amina bint Abdulhalim Nassar was executed in the northern province of Jawf for “practising witchcraft and sorcery,” the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.
Second Execution For “Sorcery” Recently
The execution is the second of its kind in recent months. In September a Sudanese national was beheaded in the Saudi Arabian city of Medina after being convicted on “sorcery” charges. He had allegedly confessed after being tortured and was tried without a lawyer.
“The charges of ‘witchcraft and sorcery’ are not defined as crimes in Saudi Arabia and to use them to subject someone to the cruel and extreme penalty of execution is truly appalling,” said Philip Luther Amnesty International’s interim Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme.
“While we don’t know the details of the acts which the authorities accused Amina of committing, the charge of sorcery has often been used in Saudi Arabia to punish people, generally after unfair trials, for exercising their right to freedom of speech or religion.”
Number Of Executions Almost Tripled This Year
From Amnesty International:
The number of executions in Saudi Arabia has almost tripled this year. So far at least 79 people – including five women – have been executed there, compared to at least 27 in 2010.“The huge rise in the number of executions in Saudi Arabia is deeply disturbing,” said Philip Luther. “We regularly call on the Saudi Arabian authorities to impose a moratorium with a view to abolishing the death penalty.
Where the death penalty is used, under international law it should only be applied to the most serious crimes.”Saudi Arabia applies the death penalty to a wide range of offences ranging from murder and rape to blasphemy, apostasy, sorcery, adultery and drugs-related offences.
In December 2010, Saudi Arabia was one of a minority of states voting against a UN General Assembly resolution calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions.
It is not clear how many women have been executed in the desert-kingdom, but another woman was beheaded in October for killing her husband by setting his house on fire.
73 Beheadings In Saudi Arabia This Year
This was the 73rd beheading in Saudi Arabia this year.
In September, Amnesty International called on the Muslim kingdom where 140 people were on death row to establish an “immediate moratorium on executions.”
The rights group said Saudi Arabia was one of a minority of states which voted against a UN General Assembly resolution last December calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions. Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.
Amnesty says Saudi Arabia executed 27 convicts in 2010, compared to 67 executions announced the year before.
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