Saudi executes Pakistani heroin smuggler

Published: December 8, 2015


RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday executed a convicted Pakistani heroin smuggler, adding to a toll which rights group Amnesty International says is the kingdom’s highest in two decades.

The ministry of interior said Khan Iqbal was put to death in the holy city of Mecca for smuggling a large amount of heroin in his intestines.

According to AFP tallies, Iqbal is the 149th local or foreigner put to death this year, against 87 for all of 2014.

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London-based Amnesty says the number of executions in Saudi Arabia this year is the highest since 192 people were put to death in 1995.

The toll has rarely exceeded 90 annually in recent years, it said.

Reasons for the surge are unclear.

Over the last few weeks, however, there has been a marked drop in executions, all of which are reported by the official Saudi Press Agency.

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Rights experts have raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom and say the death penalty should not be applied in drug cases.

Last month the European Union issued a statement saying a number of people had been put to death recently in Saudi Arabia after convictions for drug trafficking.

“The European Union is opposed to capital punishment in all cases and without exception,” it said.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Stranger
    Dec 8, 2015 - 5:27PM

    Geez and their own princes indulge in every thing and anything once they go outside. Recently their prince was caught with a huge stash of dangerous drugs . Recommend

  • nadeem
    Dec 8, 2015 - 5:34PM

    There are three parts of any drug smuggling operation: the drug mafia in Pakistan, the drug mule hired by the mafia, the buyer in Arabia. We only hear about the drug mule losing his head. How come we never hear anything about the other two. Doesn’t the mule reveal to the Saudi authorities who had hired him in Pakistan? And don’t they know who was going to collect the package in Riyadh? And from there can’t they get to the Saudi end buyer? Obviously no, for reasons of money, and for reasons of power. Recommend

  • Vikram
    Dec 8, 2015 - 6:19PM

    If executions of Pakistanis for drug smuggling is a barometer illegal for drug export from Pakistan, just imagine how much of these drugs are going to other countries of the worldRecommend

  • MSH
    Dec 8, 2015 - 7:19PM

    Thank u Saudi Arabia……Wish we could do the same Pakistan…
    Will Chaudry Nisar ,the interior minister of Pakistan investigate, as to how these drug smugglers managed to smuggled it from Pakistan.Recommend

  • Dean
    Dec 8, 2015 - 7:33PM

    Drug barons persuade poor men of Pakistan to act as mules with promises of riches. These poor guys dont stand a chance and end up losing their life. Just think who buys these drugs at the other end? Saudis. I feel so bad about this. Nobody in Pakistan cares about these poor boys. They just condemn the poor mules and say oh it is against religion. Please Pakistanis educate the poor. They are deliberately sent ther to die while the real smugglers get through. Catch the real drug barons. Write to your MPs, and keep on writing until they put a stop to this. That is something everyone can do. Let us see what the politicians do when they get thousands of letters. A letter costs nothing. Piece of paper and a stamp.Recommend

  • Naeem Khan
    Dec 8, 2015 - 10:16PM

    Saudis could not dare to do the things to Americans like they do to the people of poor countries. Have you ever seen an American been executed by Saudis like ISIS, not that Americans are lily white people, they also have their criminals and some of them are living in Saudi Arabia to boost Saudi Defense. What is so ironical that a day don’t go by in the US where the media and people don’t talk about the brutal executions by ISIS and yet they seldom point out that their friend Saudi Arabia has been doing it for decades and their creation ISIS is emulating their financiers. I suppose oil is more important than be honest and criticize their stooges in Saudi Arabia. It would not surprise me at all that the person they beheaded has spoken openly for democracy and against the most brutal and corrupt regime in Saudi Arabia. And I have never witnessed that any Pakistani government ever stood up to the Saudis for their own citizens because they are afraid to lose the benefits in the shape of crumbs thrown at them.Recommend

  • stevenson
    Dec 8, 2015 - 11:56PM

    @MSH: What does executing the poor drug smuggler but letting the big fish off tell you about Saudi society? Have you not read about the depravity of Saudi princes in Western countries or those who get caught with drugs. Why don’t they punish their own people who are smuggling drugs abroad the same way? I would prefer Chaudhry Nisar’s sense of fair play over a Saudi any day.Recommend

  • LS
    Dec 9, 2015 - 5:08AM

    And Saudi Diplomat was caught in India with drugs in objectionable position with someone who was not his spouse…. Great I wonder why these punishments are mostly given to non-Arabian people only like Maids, workers etc…Recommend

  • ajeet
    Dec 9, 2015 - 5:10AM

    Saudi Arabia is doing family planning for Pakistan.Recommend

  • Zakaullah butt
    Dec 9, 2015 - 8:11AM

    A couple of hundred public executions will solve much of the problem in any country.Recommend

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