Outrage at beheading and crucifixion in Saudi Arabia

By staff writers
June 2, 2009

Global human rights groups have deplored the execution and crucifixion which took place in Saudi Arabia yesterday (1 June 2009).

Ahmed Al-Shamlani al-Anzi was beheaded and his body crucified publicly in Riyadh.

The victim was sentenced for the alleged offences of abduction and murder of a father and his son, as well as for previous offences of Luwat (homosexual intercourse), possession of sexually explicit materials and for raising a gun against security forces seeking to arrest him.

"It is horrific that beheading and crucifixions still happen,'"said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui of Amnesty International.

He continued: "King Abdullah should show true leadership and commute all death sentences if Saudi Arabia is to have any role to play as a global leader or member of the G20."

Trial proceedings in Saudi Arabia fall far below international fair trial standards, says Amnesty International. They usually take place behind closed doors and without adequate legal representation.

Convictions are often made on the basis of 'confessions' obtained under duress, including torture or other ill-treatment during incommunicado detention, say human rights monitors.

Those who are sentenced to death are often not informed of the progress of legal proceedings against them or of the date of execution until the morning on which they are taken out and beheaded.

Saudi Arabia continues to defy the UN General Assembly resolution adopted in 2007 and 2008 calling on a moratorium on executions.

The American and British governments have been accused of overlooking or ignoring routine human rights violations in Saudi Arabia because of the Kingdom's support for their policies on terrorism.

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