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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: PAKISTANI DRUG SMUGGLER EXECUTED
IRAN: 13 PEOPLE HANGED ON THE SAME DAY, INCLUDING ONE MAN IN PUBLIC
SAUDI ARABIA: VICTIM’S KIN PARDON KILLER AT PRINCE’S REQUEST
IRAN: PRISONER HANGED IN ISFAHAN
IRAN: FOUR MORE PRISONERS HANGED
SOMALIA: AL-SHABAAB EXECUTES 4 ‘ELDERS’ ACCUSED OF SPYING
USA: PFIZER BLOCKS THE USE OF ITS DRUGS IN EXECUTIONS
EGYPT: QENA COURT GIVES PRELIMINARY DEATH SENTENCE TO 25 IN ASWAN TRIBAL FEUD
IRAN: TWO PRISONERS HANGED IN KARAJ
MISSOURI (USA): EARL FORREST EXECUTED
NORTH KOREA: GENERAL RI YONG-GIL, THOUGHT TO BE EXECUTED IN FEBRUARY, RESURFACES
SAUDI ARABIA: 92ND EXECUTION OF YEAR
KUWAIT: TWO EGYPTIANS SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR SMUGGLING DRUGS
BANGLADESH: MATIUR RAHMAN NIZAMI HANGED
USA: DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WILL NOT SEEK DEATH PENALTY AGAINST AHMED ABU KHATTALA
PAKISTAN: THREE DEATH ROW CONVICTS HANGED IN ADIALA, SAHIWAL JAIL
TAIWAN: SUBWAY KILLER EXECUTED
IRAN: TWO PRISONERS WITH MURDER CHARGES HANGED IN WEST AZERBAIJAN
IRAN: PUBLIC EXECUTION IN KERMANSHAH
AFGHANISTAN: 6 TERRORISTS EXECUTED
EGYPT COURT SPARES OUSTED PRESIDENT MOHAMED MORSI THE DEATH PENALTY
BELARUS: SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCE FOR SYARHEI KHMYALEUSKI
BELARUS: IVANOU EXECUTED PENDING COMPLAINT WITH THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE
BANGLADESH: SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCE OF JAMAAT-E-ISLAMI HEAD
SAUDI ARABIA: JORDANIAN DRUG SMUGGLER EXECUTED
SYRIA: IS EXECUTES 7-YEAR-OLD BOY FOR SWEARING DURING SOCCER GAME
SAUDI ARABIA CARRIES OUT 90TH EXECUTION OF YEAR
MOROCCO: TWO SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR RAPING AND KILLING A 7 YEAR OLD GIRL
PAKISTAN: FIVE MURDER CONVICTS HANGED IN KOT LAKHPAT AND MIANWALI
BANGLADESH: ONE SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MAKING FAKE NOTES

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SOMALIA: FIVE SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR BAIDOA ATTACK
  CHINA: 'VALENTINE'S DAY' KILLER ACQUITTED OF 1998 MURDER  
  VIETNAM: SINGAPORE MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR TRAFFICKING HEROIN  
  IRAN: TWO EXECUTED FOR DRUG OFFENCES  
  PAKISTAN: TWO DEATH ROW CONVICTS HANGED IN HARIPUR  
  EGYPT: 18 SENTENCED TO DEATH IN VARIOUS COURTS OVER MURDER, RAPE, THEFT  
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