Saudi Arabia beheads woman in public

Raif Badawi, human rights, Saudi Arabia, Ryan Johns, Kettle Mag
Written by ryan_johns

A woman in the Islamic holy city of Mecca has been beheaded in front of a public crowd after being convicted of sexual abuse and the murder of her seven-year-old stepdaughter.

The Burmese woman, named as Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Basim, was dragged through the streets and held down by four police officers before being beheaed with a sword on Monday.

A video, which has now been removed from YouTube for “shocking and disgusting content” showed how it took three attempts to remove the womans head as she reportedly screamed: “I did not kill. I did not kill.”

Middle East Eye reported that authorities carried out the attack in the middle of a road, and swiftly removed the body after the beheading. 

According to The Jawa Report, the Ministry of Interior said: “It implements the rulings of God against all those who attack innocents and spill their blood. The government warns all those who are seduced into committing similar crimes that the rightful punishment is their fate.”

The number of executions in the Arab country has increased from 78 in 2013, to 87 in 2014. 

Badawi case changes

The news comes after a blogger – Raif Badawi – was sentenced to ten years and 1000 lashes of the whip after setting up a blog that criticised powerful clerics.

Every Friday for the next 19 weeks, the blogger will receive 50 lashes – 50 of which have already been given, but according to Amnesty International a further 50 were postponed today after officials decided that his wounds had not healed enough to withstand more lashes. Additionally, according to a report from the BBC, Badawi’s case has been referred to the Supreme Court by the king’s office.



Vigils have been held outside Saudi embassies around the world, after calls from Amnesty International to contact Saudi embassies to ask them to stop the lashings upon the blogger.

The Home Office released a statement saying that it was “seriously concerned” at the public flogging of Mr Badawi.

“The UK condemns the use of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment in all circumstances,” a spokesperson said. “We have previously raised Mr Badawi’s case and will do so again directly with the Saudi authorities. The UK is a strong supporter of freedom of expression around the world.”

Saudi Arabia is regularly condemned for its use of the death penalty and often use beheading as a more ‘humane’ way of punishment. Other options available to judges imposing judgements are firing squad and stoning.

Crimes such as murder, rape, adultery and armed robbery are all considered crimes punishable by death.

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