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Beheadings in Saudi Arabia


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THE recent beheadings in Saudi Arabia of a young Sri Lankan Muslim woman and a Pakistani on various charges has drawn criticism of human rights organisations around the world which deem such punishment as mediaeval and barbaric.

Indeed such actions bring to mind the mediaeval English history made famous by the slaying of two of King Henry VIII’s six wives.

Although it is the Saudi practice to award such punishments to those violating the laws of the land, in the 21st century these acts are looked upon with a degree of contempt at a time when vast majority of the countries have banished capital punishment. Last year as many as 69 people were beheaded in the Kingdom according to the US - based Human Rights Watch and no detailed information is available on the legal aid or help provided to the victims, barring the case of Sri Lankan maid Rizana Nafeek who was put down in her 20s and that too when Colombo appealed to Riyadh for mercy.

Of the many Pakistanis who have been meted out such judicial verdicts over the years mainly on charges of drug trafficking, one has not heard of any family members coming forward for mercy plea nor has the government shown any inclination to take up their cases on humanitarian grounds.

Rather than putting them to sword, ideally, it would be much better if the Saudi  government deports such convicted persons to their respective countries and enable them to serve their sentences in their own homeland under official agreement. In this way, human rights organisations will feel satisfied and have no valid reason to criticise the oil-rich Kingdom.


Comments (86) Closed

haq Jan 23, 2013 06:44am
I dont understand why the world is against capital punishment, especially for murderers and so on . . .
Ambarish Jan 23, 2013 01:50pm
Is it not barbaric? Its so shameful that you don't think it is barbaric. Think as a human being
imran74 Jan 23, 2013 09:45am
It is in the Holy Quran that " You have life in "Qasas", which simply means that murderers should be hanged to death or executed. I wonder why the Muslims are against capital punishment. It is mainly due to the reason that we as Muslims are ignorant of the teachings of Quran and Sunnah. In Saudia Arabia crime rate is low because there is capital punishment. In the absence of capital punishment in our country people are being butchered every day particularly in Karachi. After all man made laws faulty but the laws of Allah are perfect and for all the time to come.
NeoLeon Jan 23, 2013 10:03am
you mean mercy appeal from the "corrupt" and "criminal minded" head of state of any country?
Guest62 Jan 23, 2013 06:23am
Dear Fawad , you wana have the cake and eat it too ! if you foul the rule of law of the country , you are bound to face the end results of the law .... if you happen to apply for a Visa to Singapure , its mentioned there that " dealing in drugs in singapure is death penalty " now if you wana go to singapure and ejnoy its beauty , its money , its attractions and you apply for the visa by using that form , you are admitting to up hold the law else you will not apply for the visa . Same goes to Saudi Arabia and it rule/law on beheading ... if you consider such rule/law as barbaric , then stay put in your beloved Lahore and o not venture out to KSA But if again wants to reap the benefits of petro$ and tax free worldly heavens Or want to clean up your sole and hope for God's heaven there after , You got to accept what is a rule/law in the KSG .... if you are caught enjoying the both worlds and happen to be on the wrong side of the rule/law , then do not claim that you wana to serve your terms in your beloved Lahore so send me there rather .............. If you do not like the law/rule of a specific country , do not ever visit that country's visa office any time in your life .... teach yourself a self restrained rather than sitting and criticizing any society or country which does not correspond to your liberal ways of " having a cake and eating it too ! "
ZAFAR IQBAL Jan 23, 2013 07:54am
At least mercy appeal from the head of the state of any country should be honoured by the KSA.
Khalid Jan 23, 2013 10:28am
The topic of the discussion is not what laws are better, I don't believe you have read the article. Beheading is primitive and cruel. There are other ways to carry out the capital punishment. In times when there was nothing else available to carry out the punishment, it was probably OK, times have moved on and so should we.
Imraan Mehmood Jan 23, 2013 10:06am
why don't you object to the capital punishment meted out in the USA
mujahid Jan 23, 2013 12:51pm
once the name Saudi is removed then Arabia will become Arabia and life will me better transparent man will understand mercy
Ali Shah Jan 23, 2013 04:28am
I find it a weird suggestion that a crime is committed in a different country and the sentence to be carried out in another country by another govt?
AHA Jan 23, 2013 01:36pm
The system is there in the US, yes. But the US Supreme Court over the last many decades has had a conservative leaning, and has been trigger-happy when it comes to death penalty. A mis-carriage of justice is a real risk even in the USA.
Tahir Jan 23, 2013 09:12am
Absolute barbarism based on one-sided trials in some cases. Call it the hallmark of Shariah.
ABCDEF Jan 23, 2013 11:25am
It is really shameful to read Mr. Fawad Hashmey?s remarks about beheading in Saudi Arabia as being barbaric. How can a muslim say that the death sentence in the 21st century is looked upon with a degree of contempt? Death sentence on certain crimes are enforced by Quran & Sunnah. If Allah has ordered death punishment on certain crimes, who are we to question HIM? As a muslim, we are here to obey and carry out HIS rules and not advise ALLAH about our opinions. Moreover, we should have a firm believe that whatever Allah has ordered us is for our own betterment as an individual as well as a society. Indeed, any who does not rule or judge according to Allah?s Revelation is Kaafir [5:44], Zalim [5:45] and Fasiq[5:47], according to the Quran. Al-Hukm or the Judgment or the Rule or the Command belongs to none but Allah alone [6:57, 6:62, 12:40, 12:67, 28:70, 28:80, 40:12, 42:10]. He does not take anyone as partner in His Hukm [18:26]. He is Khair-ul-Hakimeen [7:87, 10:109, 12:80] and Ahkam-ul-Hakimeen [11:45, 95:8]. In an Islamic System, all the so-called rulers or judges are obligated to rule and judge as per Allah?s Rule and Judgment. So, Mr. Fawad Hashmey, be your own judge and I draw attention to the fact that one day, we all have to meet our RAB. If these are our feelings about Allah?s laws, then we should be aware about our future in the Hereafter. Do not take this as a threat but as a reality. May Allah guide us all (Amen)
raika45 Jan 23, 2013 01:34pm
I do not agree with you. Any drug dealer must be put to death. Drugs ruin lives and families.Other than that in other cases, I agree that Saudi Arabia is acting beyond normal human rights.Islamic law or no Islamic law. The world has changed. It is time the Saudis follow suit.Islamic law if I am not mistaken promises justice and compassion.These two things are based on proof.In the case of this Sri Lankan girl no proof was provided that she killed the child.No autopsy was carried out on the child to see if there was milk in it's lungs as claimed by the maid that the child choked on the milk fed to it.Well now moderators, now I have got you.You know that your Islam does not allow autopsies yet for justice for this girl it should have been carried out.So tell me what now?Your Islamic principles prevent you from posting this or the freedom of information is creating a turmoil in your mind?Decisions, decisions.
Gerry D'Cunha Jan 23, 2013 11:47am
crimes or target killings will vanish if beheading is imposed in pakistan, but by honest judges
AHA Jan 23, 2013 11:57am
Saudi Arabia is an extremely brutal and unjust society. The huge volume of racism that that country generates is a simple but reasonable measure of what that society really is.
JAVED Jan 23, 2013 12:01pm
These punishments are according to Quran and Sunnah. These are the basic sources to derive all Laws and will remain valid till the day of judgement. Allah knows better how to control law and order situation in a society. These are best applicable rules in terms of less crime rate as compare to the entire world. We should support these laws not be apologetic.
Muhammad Ashraf Jan 23, 2013 01:08pm
This is according to Islam, therefore absolutely justified. PERIOD.
ALI Jan 23, 2013 12:13pm
george Jan 23, 2013 12:15pm
And still most muslims love it.
AHA Jan 23, 2013 01:32pm
Why is any disagreement or a difference of opinion shameful. Come to think of it, this is 'our' real problem.
Khalid Jan 23, 2013 01:30pm
Dear Gerry, both things will never happen in Pakistan.
AHA Jan 23, 2013 01:30pm
" electrocution is the most painful which is common in west". Not in West - but just in the USA. USA is the most barbaric among the advanced countries of the West. And guess what, it is also the most religious. And if want to behead people, please at least do not do that in the public.
Khalid Jan 23, 2013 01:29pm
Dear Zeeshan, what qualifications do you have to make this judgement?
Zeeshan Jan 23, 2013 12:33pm
Beheading is the most easiest and least painful death becase brain death is actual death you cannot feel any pain without the brain in other case electricution is the most painful which is common in west.
mujahid Jan 23, 2013 12:43pm
USA has strict laws to protect the offender and first time offenders are given every opportunity in a civilized court with full jury . after all avenues is exhausted,only then capital punishment is awarded,even then there is first 2nd and 3rd appeal system,even if these appeal system fail.then the offender is put to death by very human way as possible. then it it is truly verified the offender is really dangerous criminal and very justifies death by injection is the right thing to do.
AHA Jan 23, 2013 12:59pm
Beheading is just barbaric. Beheading in a public square promotes barbarism in a society. One needs to follow the spirit of the teachings of Islam, and not the exact manner in which things were practiced 1,400 years ago. If that is the case, then one should not drive cars or take medicines or use computers.
AHA Jan 23, 2013 01:03pm
Everything changes. Nothing is for ever. Improvement is a constant phenomenon that did not suddenly come to a halt 1,400 years ago.
akbari Jan 23, 2013 01:56pm
What do you mean by civilsed courts in relation to USA ? Are the Courts in USA or any Western World really civilised and the courts in Saudi Arabai not ? How can you say that ?
kaiser waziri Jan 23, 2013 02:08pm
How many people from the rich countries have the Saudi's killed since the time of its creation 90 years ago! ZERO yes that is right ZERO! WHY? These punishments have nothing to do with Islam. They use Islam to justify these punishments to terrorize their public to preserve their tyrannical rule. If they would have been fair to everyone - rich and poor than no one would have had an issue! Saudi's pay an American citizen 10 times more than they pay a Pakistani for the same job and qualifications. Is this fair?
kaiser waziri Jan 23, 2013 02:19pm
I don't have a problem if they apply the same law to everyone. I do have a problem when they have different laws for people from different countries. This is called discrimination and is un Islamic.
Ras'al Jan 23, 2013 02:34pm
which Islam are you talking ? At least 72 types of Islam are there.
yusuf khan Jan 23, 2013 02:43pm
you can understand it only when (suppose) anyone from your kith and kin is executed by beheading. Do you think that people really interpret the spirit of Holy Quran ?
suneel Jan 23, 2013 02:50pm
I do not like your comment but unfortunately that is the truth.
Magister Ludi Jan 23, 2013 02:51pm
Why do people have to drag in religion for argument? Religiously inclined comments always prove to be extremely feeble in conviction. The author of the article is inviting a much more open dialogue based on modern ethics and sensibility. There is no need to be apply laws that were dictated and intended for a 7th century world.
AHA Jan 24, 2013 12:58pm
So what is your point? One does what is necessary to survive. Do you think a sweeper enjoys sweeping the floor, or a janitor loves cleaning your toilets???
samar Jan 23, 2013 03:05pm
First time offenders of a crime not murder? Please check.
Roger Rao Jan 23, 2013 03:10pm
For clarity, let me state that I know you don't mean to 'blame' Allah. I am merely saying, don't use Allah as an excuse for what MAY be your erroneous interpretation of HIs words. I am saying human interpretations should make the distinction between metaphorism and absolutism - and it should not be a matter of convenience in terms of how you interpret it. Granted, I am not Muslim in your eyes - but should that prevent me from making these comments? Allah bless both of us, my friend. Roger
samar Jan 23, 2013 03:13pm
Yes you are right it is happening now a days .Might is Right.
CaliGula Jan 23, 2013 03:19pm
Let us refrain from involving the sacrosanct name of Allah into such matters. Neither Sharia, not Sunnah are the true words of Allah as the Mullahs would like us to believe. I believe that beheading, although seemingly barbaric, serves as a deterrent and intimidates others not to indulge in such crimes, a purpose that is lost in other mode (more civilized) of carrying out the Capital punishment. Having stated so, I do firmly believe that such barbaric forms of Capital punishment should only be reserved for the mos heinous crimes and criminals.
Razzak Jan 23, 2013 03:20pm
Okay, Stone age dweller. What else do we bring back, mob lynching ?
Irfan Baloch Jan 23, 2013 03:33pm
miscarriage of justice is not according to Islam did you bother reading the article? the defendant not getting the chance to protest his innocence, his legal aid not getting the details of the charge. thats not according to Islam, no matter how you phrase it. if you are referring to beheading as Islamic then you are sadly mistaken
Suraj Jan 23, 2013 03:34pm
Javed, wake up its 21st century and not Stone Age . Would you like to travel by a donkey than by a car?
farid Jan 23, 2013 03:35pm
Islam needs to move to 21st. century period
farid Jan 23, 2013 03:37pm
It is an ignorant place which lives in dark ages.
Anuj Jan 24, 2013 09:55am
carrying your religion is OK, and secular, BUT demanding SEPARATE laws in foreign kands having existing codes for the citizens is a bit rich, and if i undesrtand from another commentator here, is even unislamic !
Hasan Jan 23, 2013 03:46pm
First of all, people who are oK with the beheading by this Saudi Buther should ask them, who gave them the right to occupy the arab land and carry on these beheadings. Have they occupied this according to Quran and Sunnah. If so, Have them prove it. Otherwise, they are nothing but muderers and they will be punished by Allah SWT.
Anuj Jan 24, 2013 09:53am
" If you do not like the law/rule of a specific country , do not ever visit that country?s visa office any time in your life". Very truly said. I wonder why Pakistan's enemy no. 1 USA's visa office is always deluged with visa seekers though? or why those who want Shariah for UK , netherlands, etc went there in the first place? I see only some crazy Muslims doing this - i.e. wanting their religion and law in foreign lands that they travel to for their own better prospects under acceptance of the law as stated in the visa, then agitating in that country to change the laws according to what they left behind.....
Mohammad Alam Jan 23, 2013 04:16pm
Let me ask the King of Saudi Arabia a question: To live in palaces like the one they have is Islamic? Do we have any example from our Nabi(S) or Sahaba? What are the Saudis doing with the tens of thousands of Shahzadaz who are free to do what ever they want.
darr Jan 23, 2013 04:30pm
would you please provide one single reference from Qur'an or Sunnah that justifies beheading due to intoxication from any thing including alcohol.
Syed Sarim Jan 23, 2013 04:32pm
If Saudia Arabia was following all the laws of Islam that will justify beheading. They pick and choose and only people from other countries are treated like this way. Saudi citizens are previliged and are treated differently. It is a kingdom that is not allowed according to the laws of Islam named after a family. So the basic law of Islam is not followed in the country and kingship is the system of Government. Ask yourself where is Islam in this picture?
Zohaib Qureshi Jan 23, 2013 05:28pm
The majority of the people who are condemning saudi laws would not even have a second thought of going there if offered an employment opportunity, the proof of which is millions of expat workers there from almost every country of the world.
misha Jan 24, 2013 08:51am
Shah Faisal murder ,who was his nephew, was also beheaded. You sure have misinformation here.
MJ Jan 23, 2013 06:03pm
People sent to prison for life without trials and hearings is not barbaric. People killed in drone strikes, along with women and children, without proof of guilt is not barbaric. Human sex traffic of minors in the West is not barbaric. Admitted use of chemicals and germs on common people in third world countries to test biological weapons is not barbaric.... but applying capital punishment is? Ask the relatives of innocent victims of rape, murder, mass bombings and shooting and then ask yourself again if capital punishment is barbaric or not?
A. Kahn Jan 23, 2013 06:14pm
People get emotional when discussing religion and don't think rationally. The point is not the punishment but the due process that went into finding a person guilty. If that process is flawed and it seriously is in almost all Muslim countries, then the punishment is unjustified. Give the accused a proper, fair trial and only award punishment then. I seriously disagree with anyone saying that public trials can be considered as fair in Saudi Arabia or even Pakistan for that matter.
Anoop Jan 24, 2013 08:38am
When you are old and , God forbid, you are suffering, ask your children to behead you. Much less painful.
Khalid Jan 23, 2013 06:24pm
How logical is your approach. Couldn't agree more. Unfortunately, most people in Pakistan (educated or otherwise) are expected to wear their religion on their sleeves and are never encouraged to understand the SPIRIT of the teachings of Islam. I have lived in the UK for many years and never have I felt once that anyone is concerned with what religion I follow. Every child in this country is taught about all major religions of the world and they are also taught to RESPECT all religions. No one is allowed to say that "my religion is better than yours". I wonder if our Christian, Hindu and Sikh brothers and sisters can say the same about living in Pakistan, which is their own country as opposed to someone like me who is not the son of the soil as far as Britain is concerned. The mullahs (and of course politicians) in Pakistan have made our beautiful and peaceful country a sorry place. What a shame.
Nasr KiKi Jan 23, 2013 06:36pm
I think the writer should heed more to the situation in our country and think if these punishment were implmented the law and order situation would have been much better.
Shane Jan 23, 2013 06:46pm
She was just 20 years old & not even supposed to be looking after babies, (Saudi) ARABS are savages will remain like that to the end of time.
Mann Singh Jan 23, 2013 09:04pm
I guess you have it in good faith. There must be a study where all people being put to death have been questioned how painful was the execution.
Rashid Jan 23, 2013 10:08pm
Says who ? If a Saudi would have done it, they would not get the same
LogicMan Jan 23, 2013 11:07pm
Animals !!!
Sam Jan 23, 2013 11:12pm
Most of the muslims are messed up because of the Saudi funding to Madrasas around the world for last 25 years to promote their salafi agenda. We expect justice from Saudi corrupt rulers? seriously!!!
AHA Jan 24, 2013 12:17am
Words like ?PERIOD? are frequently used by people supporting a matter relating to religion. Religious matters cannot be supported by logic. Brute force is the only thing that works..
Rupesh J Jan 24, 2013 01:21am
What about beheading of Indian army soldiers by Pakistani army?
shajjaj Jan 24, 2013 02:58am
Saudi Arabia on one hand follows Islamic rules and on the other hand their princes live a life of a playboy.
Khan Baba Jan 24, 2013 02:59am
What is according to Islam....?
Habib salaami (@habib_salaami) Jan 24, 2013 03:54am
Yes, this is according to Islam, but why only applicable for pakistani only......? Have you ever heard of Saudi heheading its own citizens?
Kaiser Waziri Jan 24, 2013 03:58am
I don?t have a problem if they apply the same law to everyone. I do have a problem when they have different laws for people from different countries. This is called discrimination and is un Islamic. Have the Saudis ever executed any one from a rich or a developed country, ever!
ghaleezguftar Jan 24, 2013 12:12pm
it really scares the shit out of people who intend to bring drugs into their country. human rights never said anything on a million death in iraq and 60 million in ww2. apologetic people listen to shit like this!
raj Jan 24, 2013 04:37am
how many of the principles Allah has written do you follow Mr. ???
Ahmed Jan 24, 2013 05:17am
SA Jan 24, 2013 05:42am
How it is justified when you know nothing about the background of the person and also the reason of his act. Similarly how you can say that he did that sin equal for beheading. For all those who are supporting the beheading here they should know that these punishments are only applied when there is just and fair Govt and people did not do that act or sin due to poverty etc. Is Saudi Govt is considered fair and just Govt? A kingdom is never considered fair in any civilized world. If some how you are trapped and without fault you are accused for such a sin where beheading is mandatory would it be still justified PERIOD?
AD Jan 24, 2013 06:03am
The West doesn't behead. It bombs countries back to the stone age. Please keep your disingenuous and pedantic arguments to yourself and let other countries enforce the law of their land.
raja hindustani Jan 24, 2013 06:10am
so u think present law in pakistan is unislamic..??
wazdan Jan 24, 2013 06:36am
It is according to Islamic law to cut the accuse hand.feet to be lesson for stop beheading but start cutting hands, feet instead.It will work .
Rafiq Jan 24, 2013 12:44pm
Honestly, it raises big doubts about the understanding of the writer of this article. 69 beheadings per year (of criminals) = saving thousands of killings / rapes / drug impact on worth doing it.. Do you know how many rapes (without consent) per hour happening in USA.......yeh....but you are not the only one who knows...whole world knows it... What happened to Ajmal Pahari in Khi, after killing 100s come a judicial system can free such person....without consent from victims families.... ..... ****End*** .. Regards,
Guest62 Jan 24, 2013 06:42am
Dear Ali Shah , Its not weird if you read it by the letter ans by the spirit " written by a Pakistani sitting in a Beautiful Lahore ! " and very well knowing How and by which means Our dear country folks in general But the Rich and well connected people, can get away even with the cold blooded murder " remember the Punjab Governor's day light murder where the confessed killer was pelted with Rose pellets by the so called lawyers! , then you will realize there is noting Weird about this blog written , its shows the mindset of being above the law . I am sure the blogger will love to Go and give a public speech in the London Hyde Parker Speeker corner and say any thing he wants , the smiling Bobby with no gun on his holster , will look at him and keep his pacing around BUT the moment our dear speaker will utter any unwanted bad or derogatory words about her majesty the queen , he will see the full brunt of the smiling Bobby " reading him his rights to be silence while hand cuffing him and calling his back up and come and lock this so nice speaker away and book him too . The speakers cries for " my right to speak in the Hyde Park corner being violated , will have no bearings on the tough bobby or the ever so human rights activists anywhere in the UK or even in the human rights court of Europe "
kausik Jan 24, 2013 07:26am
I am shocked that some intelligent people believe in this type of punishment on International citizens.There is International Law every country sign on and Rich countries arrogantly disregarding and coducting below standard legal process and no wonder developed countries look down on this type of cave or rock age justice.Thank god i live in USA.
goose Jan 24, 2013 10:26am
While I am not Muslim, isn't it simple logic that methods of execution and even other punishments, as prescribed, have been prescribed as per the conditions prevalent and methods and facilities available at the time they were prescribed? Methods like lethal injection or electrocution wouldn't have been around centuries ago and hence should they not be looked into as time moves on and technologies progress - if humans didn't progress in technology and infrastructure terms, we would all still be living in caves and hunting and gathering our food? Even these methods may be outdated years down the line and insisting that we stick to them wouldn't make sense, would it?
imtiaz Frauqui Jan 24, 2013 01:27pm
How about beheading the royal family's princes and princessis , who are on drugs in Saudi Arabia.
Junaid Khan Jan 24, 2013 02:12pm
Ironically when a number of maids were killed by Saudi Women, they were meted out very lineient sentences!
The fortune teller Jan 24, 2013 02:30pm
It's very instrumental to enforce Islamic punishments in Islamic countries. If we have a glance at General Zia's era, Islamic laws were enforced along with strict punishments according to Shariah. It helped a lot in curbing social evils and malicious sins. The number of crime cases related to murder, snatching, breaking into houses reduced down close to 1%. The strict measures can save our society and will lesson for others who intent to commit crime.
hanbal Jan 24, 2013 03:57pm
Has anything good ever come out of that Godforsaken country? Ever heard of any white guy being beheaded or mutilated in anyway
Zimbo_Indian Jan 24, 2013 04:09pm
We must follow what is written in the Quran. So please stop using internet and watching TV and using automobiles. Instead use pigeon mail and ride camels and donkeys.
Jahanzeb Punjwani Jan 24, 2013 04:24pm
I think we should not intervene into a country's personal matters. In this respect US is more to blame (capital punishment still not abolished there and its not a kingdom, its a democracy and a world super-power). But i feel there is no harm if they think it's best for them. As for deporting, i think its a bad idea because the crime was committed in that country so trial should take place there.