Saudi Arabia displays corpses of 5 executed Yemeni men


Lebanese human rights activists protest against capital punishment outside the Saudi embassy in Beirut on April 1, 2010.


Anwar Amro

Saudi Arabia executed five Yemeni men convicted of robbery and murder and then displayed their corpses in the southwestern town of Jizan on Tuesday.

Under the kingdom's interpretation of Islamic code, murder, armed robbery, drug dealing and even apostasy are crimes punishable by death.

"By the grace of God, the security authorities were able to apprehend the perpetrators. Investigation resulted in charging them with committing their crimes," the interior ministry said in a statement.

The five Yemeni men - Khaled, Adel and Qassem Saraa, and Saif Ali al-Sahari and Khaled Showie al-Sahari - were sentenced for having formed a gang that, according to the interior ministry, killed a Saudi man and committed "several crimes in various regions in the kingdom."

Many expected the men to die by beheading, but according to unconfirmed reports, the men died by firing squad instead, due to a shortage of swordsmen.

Also Tuesday, a Saudi national was executed for murder, according to Amnesty International, which noted that at least 47 people have been executed in Saudi Arabia this year.