Saudi Arabia beheaded a citizen for drug trafficking on Monday raising to 57 the number of executions it has carried out so far this year. Saleh al-Yami was convicted of smuggling hashish and banned narcotic pills and of wounding several policemen, the interior ministry said. He was executed in the southern province of Najran, said a ministry statement published by the official SPA news agency.

Saudi Arabia has seen a surge in executions this year. Human rights group Amnesty International says around half of them have been for drug-related offences. Drug trafficking, rape, murder, apostasy and armed robbery are all punishable by death under the kingdom’s strict version of Islamic sharia law. In 2014, it executed 87 people, according to an AFP tally


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