Saudi executes Syrian drug trafficker
12 August 2014, 14:36
Riyadh - Saudi authorities beheaded a Syrian national on Tuesday after he was convicted of trafficking drugs into the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom, the interior ministry announced.
Safwan Hindawi was arrested as he was smuggling a "large amount of narcotic pills into the kingdom," said the ministry in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.
His beheading in the northern Jawf region raised to 24 the number of executions so far this year in the Gulf state, according to an AFP count based on official reports.
Last year, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights denounced a "sharp increase in the use of capital punishment" in Saudi Arabia.
In 2013, there were 78 executions.
Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict version of Islamic sharia law.