7 convicted of armed robbery executed by firing squad

March 16, 2013

Saudi authorities have executed seven men convicted of theft, looting and armed robbery.

The executions were carried by a firing squad in Abha, a city in the southern region of Asir.

Traditionally, people sentenced to death in the Saudi kingdom are beheaded with a sword in a public place, but a recent decision has allowed the governors of the various provinces to resort to a firing squad.

The families of the seven Saudis, aged between 20 and 24, had earlier this month appealed for clemency and the execution was delayed before it was eventually carried out on Wednesday.

The court of cassation two years ago upheld the death sentence verdict in 2009 by Abha General Courtbased on the charges of forming a criminal group to raid jewellery shops and loot under the menace of guns and threatening people.

According to Saudi media, the men were arrested following the launch by the Asir police of a massive manhunt. They reportedly admitted committing around  50 armed robberies and thefts. Reports said that 18 other people were also arrested in connection with the case, but they were given prison terms.

Some international organisations have called for saving the seven men from the execution, arguing that they were young when they committed their crimes. However, the plea was rejected by the Saudi authorities, saying that they were executed to deter others from carrying out similar crimes.

“The ministry of interior confirms the government’s keenness on security andjustice and on implementing the provisions of God on anyone assaulting innocent people or shedding their blood or abusing them,” the ministry said in a statement announcing the executions.

“At the same time, it warns that whoever is tempted to carry out such crimes will be punished in accordance with the religious law.”




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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