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Saudi Arabia executes seven despite pleas for clemency

Arab World Materials 13 March 2013 15:20 (UTC +04:00)
Saudi authorities Wednesday executed seven men, two of them reportedly juvenile offenders, for armed robbery, despite international pleas for clemency, dpa reported
Saudi Arabia executes seven despite pleas for clemency

Saudi authorities Wednesday executed seven men, two of them reportedly juvenile offenders, for armed robbery, despite international pleas for clemency, dpa reported.

The seven Saudis, who were convicted of a series of armed robberies on gold shops in 2005, were executed by a firing squad in the southern city of Abha.

Rights groups including Amnesty International last week called on Saudi Arabi to halt the executions.

US-based Human Rights Watch said at least two were juveniles at the time of the offences.

The execution by shooting rather than public beheading - as traditionally practised in the kingdom - comes days after local media reported that Saudi authorities were considering a change in execution method due to a shortage of headsmen.

The executions bring the number of death sentences implemented this year in Saudi Arabia to 23. The conservative kingdom executed 76 convicts in 2012.

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