RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Friday beheaded a convicted Pakistani heroin trafficker, adding to a sharp increase in executions this year. Shah Faisal Azeem Shah was found guilty of smuggling the drugs hidden in his body, the interior ministry said in a statement reported by the official Saudi Press Agency. Authorities carried out the sentence against him in the capital Riyadh. The kingdom resumed executions last week after a pause for the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan and the subsequent Eidul Fitr holidays. Shah’s case brings to 109 the number of beheadings this year in the kingdom, which rights group Amnesty International says is one of the world’s most prolific executioners. The number of Saudis and foreigners put to death this year is up 125 percent from 87 during the whole of 2014, according to AFP tallies. Under the conservative kingdom’s strict Islamic sharia legal code, drug trafficking, rape, murder, armed robbery and apostasy are all punishable by death.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2015.
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