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Amnesty International Obtains Secret Video Showing Horror of Beheading in Saudi Arabia
 
April 25, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire
 
Amnesty International has received secretly filmed grisly footage of a man being beheaded inSaudi Arabia. The organization strongly condemns the execution and calls for the Saudi Arabian government to adhere to the U.N. moratorium on executions around the world. Amnesty International has been closely monitoring the prisoner’s case, a Jordanian citizen convicted on drug trafficking related charges; the footage filmed on a mobile phone is consistent with AI’s records. The footage is a dire reflection of the extensive use of the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. In defiance of the world community,Saudi Arabia executed at least 143 people in 2007, including three women, and children. Since January 2008, the figure has already reached 53. This morning (April 25), three more people were put to death in Saudi Arabia.
 
The horrific footage shows the condemned man’s public execution. He kneels on a mat while spectators and guards watch. With one strike of the executioner’s sword, his head rolls off and his body collapses in a heap. Amnesty International has been closely monitoring the prisoner’s case, a Jordanian citizen convicted on drug trafficking related charges; the footage filmed on a mobile phone is consistent with AI’s records.
 
Executions inSaudi Arabia are generally held in public. Prisoners are usually sentenced to death following inadequate legal representation.Saudi Arabia continues to execute prisoners despite the U.N. General Assembly’s adoption of a resolution calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions on December 18, 2007. The beheading is counter to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and comes at a time when there is a clear international trend away from the use of the death penalty.
 
Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director of Amnesty International’sMiddle East andNorth Africa program, said: “As a member of the U.N. Human Rights Council,Saudi Arabia should take a leading role in implementing the U.N. moratorium on executions and commute all outstanding death sentences.”
 
“Very few countries currently carry out executions, and it is deplorable that a member state of the Human Rights Council continues to execute people. Trials are grossly unfair with prisoners getting inadequate or no legal representation. Foreign nationals are often not even given adequate interpretation facilities and consequently remain ignorant of the exact nature of the charges against them or the punishment they face.”
 
The footage is a dire reflection of the extensive use of the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. In defiance of the world community,Saudi Arabia executed at least 143 people in 2007, including three women, and children. Since January 2008, the figure has already reached 53. This morning (April 25), three more people were put to death inSaudi Arabia. All were convicted of drug related crimes, following trials about which very little is known. Amnesty International remains gravely concerned for the lives of a number of prisoners at risk of imminent execution, and has issued urgent appeals calling for the commutation of their sentences.
 
 
 

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