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Saudi Arabia beheads Pakistani for smuggling heroin

October 24, 2014

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The latest execution brings to 59 the number of people beheaded in Saudi Arabia this year.—File photo
The latest execution brings to 59 the number of people beheaded in Saudi Arabia this year.—File photo

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Friday beheaded a Pakistani man convicted of smuggling heroin into the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom, the interior ministry said.

Butha Mushtaq was the third Pakistani executed on drug charges in Saudi Arabia since October 15.

He was found guilty of smuggling heroin concealed in capsules which he had swallowed, and executed in the capital Riyadh, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

His execution brings to 59 the number of people beheaded in Saudi Arabia this year.

Last year, 78 people of various nationalities were executed in the Gulf Arab state.

In September, a United Nations independent expert called for moratorium on the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, which has faced harsh criticism from human rights group for carrying out executions.

Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, has said Saudi trials “are by all accounts grossly unfair” and defendants often not allowed a lawyer. He said confessions were obtained under torture.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s strict version of Sharia law.