Saudi Arabia carries out 141st execution of 2015

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Thursday carried out its 141st execution this year, putting one of its citizens to death for murder.


Abdulrahman al-Asmari was executed in the holy city of Makkah following his conviction for killing a fellow Saudi, the interior ministry said. Asmari stabbed the victim repeatedly and then drove over his legs after a fight, it said.

This was the fourth death sentence carried out in three days. On Wednesday a Yemeni was executed for murdering a Saudi, and a Pakistani who killed an Indonesian couple was put to death. Another convicted Pakistani drug trafficker was executed on Tuesday.

According to AFP tallies, their cases bring to 141 the number of locals and foreigners executed in the conservative Islamic kingdom this year, compared with 87 in 2014.

Saudi executions are usually carried out by beheading with a sword, in what the ministry says is a deterrent. Rights experts have raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom.

London-based Amnesty International says Saudi Arabia had the world’s third-highest number of executions last year, far behind China and Iran, and ahead of Iraq and the United States.

Under the kingdom’s strict Islamic legal code, murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape and apostasy are all punishable by death.

Saudi Arabia has carried out around 80 executions annually since 2011. In comparison, Iran has executed more than 1,000 people since January last year, the UN special rapporteur on Iran, Ahmed Shaheed said in March.