A Saudi citizen convicted of murder was beheaded on Sunday, the interior ministry announced, bringing the number of executions in the kingdom this year to 10. Salem Al Jahdali beat fellow tribesman Abdullah Al Jahdali to death following a dispute, the ministry said in a statement published by the official SPA news agency. The execution took place in the holy western city of Makkah. The ultra-conservative kingdom beheaded 78 people in 2013, according to an AFP count.
Last year, the UN High Commission for Human Rights denounced a “sharp increase in the use of capital punishment” since 2011 in Saudi Arabia. According to figures from Amnesty International, the number of executions in the country rose from 27 in 2010, of whom five were foreigners, to 82 in 2011, including 28 foreigners. In 2012, the number of executions slipped slightly to 79 people, among them 27 foreigners. Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s strict version of Sharia.