RIYADH: Saudi Arabia beheaded a Pakistani on Wednesday for trafficking heroin hidden in his stomach into the kingdom, the interior ministry said, the latest in dozens of executions this year. Mohammed Sadiq Hanif was arrested during his attempt to smuggle “a large amount” of heroin, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency. Last month, Saudi authorities beheaded four Pakistanis convicted of smuggling heroin into the kingdom. The government “is keen on combating narcotics due to their great harm to individuals and the society,” the interior ministry said. The beheading Wednesday in the eastern town of Khubar raises to 64 the number of death sentences carried out in the kingdom this year, despite international concern. Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s strict version of Islamic sharia law.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2014.