RIYADH (AFP) – Saudi Arabia on Tuesday beheaded a Syrian convicted of drug trafficking, official media said, bringing to 68 the number of people executed this year despite international concern.
“Talal Ali Qassem was captured smuggling a large quantity of methamphetamine. Investigations led to his confession,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported, citing the interior ministry.
Qassem was executed in the northern region of Jawf.
The ministry says the government is battling narcotics “because of their great harm to individuals and society”.
In September, an independent expert working on behalf of the United Nations called for an immediate moratorium on the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. Christof Heyns said that among his concerns was the obtaining of confessions under torture.