Saudi Arabia Beheads 32nd Person of 2015 (Al-Akhbar (Lebanon))

Saudi Arabia beheaded a Jordanian Wednesday for drug smuggling, bringing to 32 the number of death sentences carried out so far in the first two months of the year.
Omar Mohammed Abdul Muti al-Rubai was executed in northwestern Jawf region after his confession and conviction for trying to smuggle a large amount of amphetamines, the interior ministry said, cited by the official Saudi Press Agency.
The government says it “is committed to fighting drugs of all kinds due to the physical and social harm they cause.”
Drug trafficking, rape, murder, apostasy and armed robbery are all punishable by death under the kingdom’s legal code that follows a strict Wahhabi version of Sharia.
Amnesty International said in its annual report Wednesday that death sentences are often imposed “after unfair trials.”
The London-based watchdog said some defendants claimed to have been tortured or “otherwise coerced or misled into making false confessions” before trial.
The Gulf nation executed 87 people in 2014 according to an AFP tally. More than 2,000 people were executed in the kingdom between 1985 and 2013, Amnesty claimed in a report.
However, felonies are not the only charges that can lead to the death penalty in the oil-rich kingdom. The Saudi terrorism law issued in early 2014 casts a wide net over what it considers to be “terrorism.”
Under the law, punishable offenses include ”calling for atheist thought in any form,” “throwing away loyalty to the country’s rulers,” and “seeking to shake the social fabric or national cohesion.”
Human Rights Watch urged the Saudi authorities to abolish the Specialized Criminal Court, the body that sentenced five pro-democracy advocates, including prominent activist and cleric Nimr al-Nimr, and many others to death, saying that analysis revealed “serious due process concerns” such as “broadly framed charges,” “denial of access to lawyers,” and “quick dismissal of allegations of torture without investigation.”
(AFP, Al-Akhbar)