Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Saudi woman beheaded for witchcraft
A Saudi woman was beheaded in the northern province of Jawf after being convicted of practicing sorcery, which is banned in the ultra-conservative kingdom.
Amina bint Abdulhalim Nassar was executed in the northern province of Jawf for "practising witchcraft and sorcery," the interior ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.
It is not clear how many women have been executed in the desert-kingdom, but another woman was beheaded in October for killing her husband by setting his house on fire.
The London-based human rights watchdog condemned Monday's execution as "truly appalling," and called on the conservative kingdom to urgently halt the practice.
"The charges of 'witchcraft and sorcery' are not defined as crimes in Saudi Arabia", said Philip Luther, Amnesty's interim director of the Middle East and North Africa.
"To use them to subject someone to the cruel and extreme penalty of execution is truly appalling," he added in a statement, which stressed the "urgent need" to stop executions.
Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia Law.