Saudi executes two nationals for drug smuggling
Saudi Arabia beheaded two nationals on Monday in the eastern province of Al-Ahsa after convicting them of drug smuggling, the interior ministry said.
The pair, Mustafa bin Nuh al-Zain, and Anas bin Malik al-Duheim, were accused of establishing a drug-smuggling ring inside the kingdom and of trafficking in "large quantities" of drugs, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi news agency.
The beheadings are the first executions of 2012. According to an AFP count, the kingdom carried out 76 executions last year.
Amnesty international has repeatedly called on the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom to impose a moratorium on executions. According to the London-based watchdog, there are currently 140 people on death row in the kingdom.
Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.
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