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SAUDI ARABIA: EIGHT PEOPLE EXECUTED THE SAME DAY

March 13, 2013: eight men were executed in Saudi Arabia, bringing to 26 the number of people put to death in Saudi Arabia so far this year.
A firing squad executed in public seven men convicted of armed robbery despite last-minute appeals by rights groups that their lives be spared, the interior ministry and a witness said.
The condemned men were convicted of "forming a gang that carried out several armed robberies and thefts with the help of other people," the ministry said in a statement published on the official SPA news agency.
They were executed "as a punishment to them and to deter others" from carrying out similar crimes, said SPA, adding that their fellow-robbers had been sentenced to various jail terms and lashes.
A witness told AFP by telephone that "the execution was "implemented a while ago at a public square in Abha," adding that the defendants were "shot dead" and not beheaded as is customary in the kingdom.
The announcement came soon after Amnesty International released a statement renewing calls on the Saudi authorities to halt the executions.
They "look set to be shot on Wednesday morning," said Amnesty, which described the executions as "sheer brutality."
The seven men -- Sarhan Al Mashaikh, Saeed Al Zahrani, Ali Al Shahri, Nasser Al Qahtani, Saeed Al Shahrani, Abdulaziz Al Amri and Ali Al Qahtani -- were charged with organising a criminal group, armed robbery and raiding and breaking into jewellery stores in 2005, and sentenced to death in 2009.
International rights groups had protested that the men -- now aged between 20 to 24 years old according to news website sabq.org -- were condemned for crimes committed when they were juveniles.
"It is a bloody day when a government executes seven people on the grounds of 'confessions' obtained under torture, submitted at a trial where they had no legal representation or recourse to appeal," said Amnesty's MENA director Philip Luther.
They claimed their relatives were also "threatened with torture if they withdrew their 'confessions'," said Amnesty.
They had been scheduled to die on March 5, but their executions were postponed for a week.
Executions in Saudi Arabia, which applies a strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law, are generally carried out by beheading but media reports said authorities were considering using firing squads due to lack of swordsmen.
Local Al-Yawm daily reported that the kingdom has formed a specialised committee to study the "possibility of replacing beheadings by the sword with firing squads as this is not against sharia (Islamic law)."
This is due to "the lack of beheaders who may sometimes take long to arrive at the execution site from other regions causing confusion," it said.
Also on Wednesday (March 13), authorities executed another national, Fada al-Subaie in the southwestern Mecca region, after he was convicted of murdering a fellow Saudi, SPA reported. It did not specify the method of his execution. (Sources: AFP, 13/03/2013)

More news:
SAUDI ARABIA: TWO SAUDIS BEHEADED FOR MURDERING COMPATRIOTS
INDONESIA: GOVERNMENT SAVES 190 NATIONALS FROM DEATH SENTENCE
SAUDI ARABIA: TWO PEOPLE BEHEADED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING AND MURDER
IRAN: FOUR PRISONERS HANGED IN TWO DIFFERENT IRANIAN PRISONS
JAPAN: LAWMAKER GROUP SEEKING END TO DEATH PENALTY TO RESUME ACTIVITIES
IRAN: SIX PRISONERS EXECUTED IN SHIRAZ AND KARAJ
SOMALIA: MILITARY COURT SENTENCES A JOURNALIST’S KILLER TO DEATH
SOMALIA: MILITARY COURT SENTENCES FOUR AL-SHABAAB SUSPECTS
SOMALIA: SEVEN AL-SHABAAB MEMBERS RECEIVE DEATH PENALTY
SOMALIA: FORMER ARMY SOLDIER SENTENCED TO DEATH IN SOMALILAND
AFGHANISTAN: FIVE CIVILIANS HANGED IN KAJAKI DISTRICT OF HELMAN
VIETNAM: 6 GET DEATH PENALTY FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
SAUDI ARABIA: SYRIAN DRUG TRAFFICKER BEHEADED IN AL-JAWF REGION
IRAN: A 22-YEAR OLD MAN HANGED IN BIRJAND
SAUDI ARABIA: A NATIONAL BEHEADED FOR KILLING HIS WIFE
SYRIA: 25 PEOPLE EXTRA-JUDICIALLY EXECUTED BY ISIL
IRAN: AT LEAST NINE PRISONERS EXECUTED IN RASHT AND ZAHEDAN, INCLUDING A JUVENILE OFFENDER HANGED ALONG WITH HIS MOTHER
SOMALIA: AL-SHABAAB EXECUTES TWO MEN IN LOWER JUBA
IRAN: THREE PRISONERS HANGED IN KARAJ
SAUDI ARABIA: THREE MEN BEHEADED FOR MURDER AND DRUG TRAFFICKING
CHINA: ANOTHER SOUTH KOREAN EXECUTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
EGYPT: MUFTI URGES REVIEW OF MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD LEADER DEATH SENTENCE
IRAN: TWO MEN HANGED IN PUBLIC
KENYA: AL-SHABAAB SUSPECT TO BE EXTRADITED TO SOMALIA
CHINA: 2 KOREAN SMUGGLERS EXECUTED
MISSOURI EXECUTES KILLER MICHAEL WORTHINGTON BY LETHAL INJECTION
UAE: CHARITY GROUP PAYS DIYA TO VICTIM’S FAMILY
EGYPT: GIZA COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCES FOR 12 MORSI SUPPORTERS
SAUDI ARABIA: MAGICIAN, MURDERER EXECUTED
SAUDI ARABIA: NEPALI MAID BEHEADED FOR TODDLER MURDER

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HANDS OFF CAIN’S REPORT 2014 PRESENTED IN THE HAGUE
  SRI LANKA: 8 PERSONS SENTENCED TO DEATH BY PANADURA AND RATNAPURA HIGH COURTS  
  GHANA: FISHERMAN SENTENCED TO DEATH BY HANGING  
  SRI LANKA: MONERAGALA HC HANDS DOWN DEATH SENTENCE  
  ALABAMA (USA): STATE CAN'T RESUME EXECUTIONS UNTIL SPRING  
  IRAQ: SHI'ITE MILITIA HANGS UP 15 EXECUTED SUNNIS IN SQUARE  
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