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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 April, 2003, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Pakistani beheaded in Saudi Arabia
A Pakistani man has been beheaded in Saudi Arabia for attempting to smuggle heroin into the country.

Public execution in Saudi Arabia
Harat Khan Rahmat Shah was found guilty of trying to bring a quantity of the illegal drug into the kingdom, the Interior Ministry says.

The beheading was the third this year and was carried out in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.

Under Sharia law, Saudi Arabia executes people convicted of murder, rape and drug smuggling, usually by decapitation.

The punishment was used at least 45 times last year.

Executions are usually carried out in public with a sword.

Human rights groups have criticised Saudi Arabia for continuing to carry out the practice.

Last year the United Nations Committee Against Torture said penalties such as beheading, amputations and floggings violated international conventions against cruelty and degrading treatment.

However the Saudi authorities have said they cannot accept interference in the country's legal system, aspects of which have been practised in the region for more than 1,400 years.


SEE ALSO:
Pakistan court rules on adultery
21 Aug 02  |  South Asia
Stoning sentence for Pakistan woman
19 Apr 02  |  South Asia
Saudi 'torture' condemned by UN
16 May 02  |  Middle East


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