Inside Saudi Arabia’s strict death penalty laws- What’s the fate of 20 Nigerians on death row

Would the 20 Nigerians on death row be Killed or would a mediation be successful?

The Federal Government is appealing for leniency on behalf of  20 Nigerians awaiting execution for drug related offences in Saudi Arabia

Since 2014, eight Nigerians have already been executed including Mrs Kudirat Adesola Afolabi- A widow and mother of two.

The Nigeria government and human rights group condemn the killings because the trials are done secretly, the countries are only informed after the deceased has been executed.

Under Saudi Arabia’s strict legal code the following crimes are punishable by death

Apostasy. Treason. Homosexuality. Espionage. Murder. Rape. Terrorism and Drug smuggling.

Some other offences like robbery, witchcraft, Arson could get a life sentence or death sentence.

Lighter offences like criticizing the Saudi government could lead to a 10 year sentence and 1000 strokes of the cane.   Raif Badawi a blogger criticized the Saudi Government, he has been incarcerated for almost seven years, his family who has fled to Canada delivered a power message through his kids

How are the convicted offenders killed

Most of the executions happen in a central square or colleges to serve as a deterrent to the viewing public, the executioner places a bags on the floor and announce to the growing crowd what’s about to happen

Beheading is the most common method of execution is Saudi Arabia, the condemned are sedated prior to execution. Public stoning is used to execute individuals who have been convicted of acts such as adultery and Apostacy ( renouncing Islam)

Some prisoners who commit serious crimes like murder are crucified after beheading they put the head in a bag, tie it to the headless body and then pull the body up with a crane and suspend it at a high altitude leaving it there for hours.

According to Amnesty International Saudi executed 158 death sentences  in 2015.

How cases are tried in the courts

Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy and abide by the Sharia law

The Qur’an and the Sunnah are declared to be the country’s constitution.

they insist trials are conducted to the strictest standards of fairness, but evidence has emerged from the country to suggest the opposite.

Trials are reported to have lasted a day and confessions extracted under torture.

To what extent does the Saudi Government enforce their laws?

Well, even the prince and princess within the royal family are nor exempt:

In 1977 Princess Misha Abdul Aziz was shot in the head in public execution for daring to marry a commoner outside the royal family. While her husband Musleh was beheaded

In 2012, A Saudi Princess Sara bint Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud  was granted asylum in the UK, She faced persecution back home for having a love child by a British citizen. She won her claim for refugee status after telling a judge that her adulterous affair made her liable to death by stoning.

Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabir was put to death in the capital Riyadh for mistakenly shooting dead his friend  Adel al-Mahemi during a brawl.

Prominent Government officials from other countries are not spared either;

In 2016, a prominent Muslim cleric from Iran was executed in Saudi inspite of every government intervention. The cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was executed on terrorist related charges. This caused the both countries to break off diplomatic ties and for Saudi Embassy in Iran to be burnt down

At the very least 150 people are executed every year in Saudi Arabia.

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