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7 Saudis appeal to stop executions

05 March 2013, 10:19

Cairo - Speaking over a smuggled cellphone from his prison cell, one of seven Saudis set to be put to death on Tuesday by crucifixion and firing squad for armed robbery appealed for help to stop the executions.

Nasser al-Qahtani told The Associated Press from Abha General prison on Monday that he was arrested as part of 23-member ring that stole from jewelry stores. He said they were tortured to confess and had no access to lawyers.

They were juveniles at the time of the thefts.

The seven received death sentences in 2009, the Saudi newspaper Okaz reported then. The main defendant, Sarhan al-Mashayeh, is to be crucified.

Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islamic Shariah law under which people convicted of murder, rape or armed robbery can be executed, usually by sword.

- AP


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