RIYADH (AFP) – Saudi Arabia on Tuesday beheaded a Pakistani convicted of drug trafficking and one of its own citizens for murder, the interior ministry said.
Saudi Bandar Khalaf al-Enzi was found guilty of strangling a man to death during a dispute, the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.
He was executed in the north Hail region.
Pakistani Kamran Ghulam Abbas was executed in Khubar, in Eastern Province, after being convicted of smuggling a “large quantity of heroin”, the ministry said in a separate statement.
The two beheadings bring to 48 the number of executions carried out in the desert kingdom this year, according to an AFP tally.
Human Rights Watch expressed alarm last month at a surge in executions, which saw 19 people beheaded between August 4 and 20 alone.
HRW said eight of those executed had been convicted of non-violent offences such as drug trafficking and “sorcery”, and described the use of the death penalty in their cases as “particularly egregious”.
Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s strict version of Syariah law.