Saudi Arabia executes 8 Bangladeshis

Executions have resumed in Saudi Arabia at an alarming rate since Ramadan. Photo: Amnesty International

THE Saudi authorities executed eight Bangladeshi workers on Friday in the country’s capital Riyadh for their involvement in killing an Egyptian man.

The migrant workers, who were beheaded in public, were sentenced to death for the murder of the man in April 2007, according to the Amnesty International.

The executed are: Ma’mun Abdul Mannan, Faruq Jamal, Sumon Miah, Mohammed Sumon, Shafiq al-Islam, Mas’ud Shamsul Haque, Abu al-Hussain Ahmed and Mutir al-Rahman.

Details of executed Bangladeshis could not be learnt immediately.

According to a news posted on the AI website, the Egyptian man was killed during a clash between the Bangladeshi workers and a group of men who allegedly were stealing electric cable from a building complex where the Bangladeshis used to work.

Three other Bangladeshis were sentenced to prison terms and flogging for the murder.

Executions have resumed in Saudi Arabia at an alarming rate since the end of the Holy month of Ramadan, said the AI.

“Court proceedings in Saudi Arabia fall far short of international standards for fair trial and news of these recent multiple executions are deeply disturbing,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Middle East and North Africa.

“The Saudi authorities appear to have increased the number of executions in recent months, a move that puts the country at odds with the worldwide trend against the death penalty.”

“The government must establish an immediate moratorium on executions in the Kingdom and commute all death sentences, with a view to abolishing the death penalty completely,” she added.

Friday’s beheading of the Bangladeshi nationals brings the number of executions in Saudi Arabia this year to at least 58, more than double than the 2010 figures. Twenty of those executed in 2011 were foreign nationals, the AI report said.

Many of those executed in Saudi Arabia in recent years have been foreign nationals, mostly migrant workers from poor and developing countries.

Defendants often have no defence lawyer and are unable to follow court proceedings in Arabic.

They are also rarely allowed formal representation by a lawyer, and in many cases are not informed of the progress of legal proceedings against them.

They, and many of the Saudi Arabians who are executed, also have no access to influential figures such as government authorities or heads of tribes, nor to money, both crucial factors in paying blood money or securing a pardon in murder cases.

Saudi Arabia applies the death penalty for a wide range of offences.

They may be convicted solely on the basis of confessions obtained under duress or deception.

At least 158 people, including 76 foreign nationals, were executed by the Saudi Arabian authorities in 2007. In 2008 some 102 people, including almost 40 foreign nationals, were executed.

In 2009, at least 69 people are known to have been executed, including 19 foreign nationals and in 2010, at least 27 people were executed including six foreign nationals.


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