Sunday, December 19, 2004

Dateline: Saudi Arabia

Two Iraqis Beheaded for Trafficking
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Two Iraqi men were beheaded Sunday for smuggling drugs into Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Interior Ministry said.

Mohammed bin Ali al-Salami and Faisal bin Karim al-Shiblawi were convicted of smuggling an undisclosed quantity of hashish into the kingdom and were beheaded in the northern city of Arar, the ministry said in a statement reported by the Saudi Press Agency.

Their execution brings to 30 the number of people beheaded in the kingdom this year. Last year, at least 52 people, mostly drug smugglers, were beheaded.

Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam under which people convicted of drug trafficking, murder, rape and armed robbery can be executed. Beheadings are carried out with a sword in public.