Saudi Arabia executes citizen for murder

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia executed a citizen on Thursday convicted of the murder of a compatriot, raising to 82 the number of death sentences the ultra-conservative kingdom has carried out this year.

Mohammed al-Khaweir al-Qahtani was found guilty of shooting dead Hussein al-Shayeb al-Qahtani following a dispute, the interior ministry said.

He was executed in the southwestern city of Abha, a ministry statement published by the official SPA news agency said.

Most people put to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword. The executions so far this year include 47 for “terrorism” carried out in a single day on January 2.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia executed 153 people, most of them for drug trafficking or murder, according to an AFP count.

Human rights group Amnesty International says the number of executions in Saudi Arabia last year was the highest for two decades.

The kingdom is one of the world’s top executioners, although its tally in 2015 was far behind those of China and Iran.

Saudi Arabia has a strict Islamic legal code under which murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape and apostasy are all punishable by death.