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Saudi beheaded in first execution of year

Malik bin Said al-Sayaari was put to the sword in the Al-Hasa district of Eastern Province after a repeat conviction for hashish smuggling, the interior ministry said.

Saudi Arabia has stepped up its use of the death penalty despite repeated appeals from the United Nations and human rights watchdogs.

Last year’s tally marked a significant increase on the 78 executions recorded in 2013.

Rape, murder, apostasy and armed robbery as well as drug trafficking are punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s strict version of Islamic sharia law. -AFP

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