SAUDI ARABIA: JORDANIAN MAN EXECUTED AFTER ALLEGEDLY GIVING FORCED CONFESSION
March 14, 2023:
Saudi Arabia has executed a Jordanian man whose family say he was tortured into confessing to drugs charges, BBC reported on 13 March 2023. (Source: BBC, 13/03/2023)
Hussein Abu al-Khair, 57, had eight children and was a driver for a wealthy Saudi.
He was arrested in 2014 while crossing the border from Jordan into Saudi Arabia, accused of smuggling amphetamines.
He was later sentenced to death, after a trial criticised by Amnesty International as "grossly unfair".
His sister, Zeinab Abul Al-Khair, said he had told her from jail that he had been strung up by his feet and beaten.
His case has drawn international concern, with fears for his fate growing after Saudi Arabia last November ended an unofficial moratorium on the use of the death penalty for drugs offences. Within a fortnight, 17 men were executed on such charges.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention had found that Mr Abu al-Khair's detention lacked legal basis.
And in late 2022, the UN Human Rights office appealed for his release.
It says the use of the death penalty for drug offences is incompatible with international norms and standards.
"We urge the Saudi government to halt al-Kheir's reported imminent execution and to comply with the Working Group's opinion by quashing his death sentence, releasing him immediately and unconditionally, and by ensuring that he receives medical care, compensation and other reparations," said spokesperson Liz Throssell.
The Saudi Press Agency said the Ministry of the Interior was announcing that the death penalty had been implemented against Hussein Abu al-Khair to "confirm the keenness of the Kingdom's government to combat drugs of all kinds because of the severe harm they cause to the individual and society".