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article imageSaudi Arabia condemned as eight Bangladeshis beheaded

By Katerina Nikolas     Oct 8, 2011 in World
The public beheading of eight Bangladeshis in Riyadh yesterday has provoked criticism from Amnesty International which has called for an end to the practice.
Saudi Arabia has come under yet more criticism following the public beheading of eight migrant workers from Bangladesh on Friday. The eight men were part of a group of 11 convicted for the alleged murder of an Egyptian security guard in 2007, during a robbery at a warehouse.
Arab News reported that the Saudi Interior Ministry issued a statement saying "Mamoun Abdulmenan, Farouk Jamal, Suman Meah, Mohammed Suman, Shafiq Al-Islam, Masoud Shamsulhaq, Abu Hussein Ahmed and Muteer Al-Rahman were executed in the capital.” The other three men who were allegedly involved but not subject to the death penalty, received prison sentences and floggings. Two other men were also executed in the Kingdom on Friday for unrelated offenses, one for stabbing two Saudi brothers to death and one for shooting an Afghan migrant.
Public executions are on the increase in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh’s Deere Square, where many be-headings take place, is commonly referred to as Chop Chop Square.
Bikyamasr reports that Amnesty International Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui said “Court proceedings in Saudi Arabia fall far short of international standards for fair trial and news of these recent multiple executions is deeply disturbing.” She added “The Saudi authorities appear to have increased the number of executions in recent months, a move that puts the country at odds with the worldwide trend against the death penalty. The government must establish an immediate moratorium on executions in the Kingdom and commute all death sentences, with a view to abolishing the death penalty completely.”Saudi rulers are unlikely to follow the recommendations of Amnesty International as execution is the standard punishment under sharia law unless blood money is accepted by the victim’s relatives in lieu of the death penalty. According to the BBC more than two million Bangladeshis work in Saudi Arabia. Migrant workers are the backbone of the Saudi economy, prepared to travel to the Kingdom for work in order to send money back home.
The beheading of an Indonesian housemaid caused a rift in relations between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia earlier this year, leading to a ban on both Indonesian and Filipino workers arriving in Saudi as the government of both countries demanded better working conditions for their nationals.
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