RIYADH: A Qatari and a Jordanian were among five people executed in Saudi Arabia yesterday, bringing to 69 the number of people it has put to death this year. The Qatari, Mohammed Jarboui, was executed in the eastern region of Al-Ahsa after being convicted of murdering a Saudi, the interior ministry said. Sliman and Ahmed Messoudi were put to death in the northern Tabuk region for trafficking amphetamines, the ministry said in a separate statement.
The Jordanian, Abdallah Tayaha, was also convicted of amphetamine trafficking. He was put to death in the northwestern Jawf region, it said. Amphetamines are stimulants most often targeted at students and labourers in the kingdom, interior ministry spokesman General Mansour al-Turki told reporters last week. He added that war-ravaged Syria has become one of the biggest producers of the drug.
The fifth person to be executed yesterday was Kassadi Atoudi, put to death in the southern region of Jazan following his conviction for murder. The 69 executions so far this year include 47 death sentences for “terrorism” carried out in a single day on Jan 2. Most people sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword. In 2015, Saudi Arabia executed 153 people, most of them for drug trafficking or murder, according to an AFP count.
Amnesty International says the number of executions in Saudi Arabia last year was the highest for two decades. However, the tally was far behind those of China and Iran. The kingdom has a strict Islamic legal code under which murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape and apostasy are all punishable by death. — AFP