Reuters, Yahoo! News, December 13, 2011
Rights group Amnesty International has described as “deeply shocking” Saudi Arabia’s beheading of a woman convicted on charges of “sorcery and witchcraft,” saying it underlined the urgent need to end executions in the kingdom.
Saudi national Amina bint Abdul Halim bin Salem Nasser was executed on Monday in the northern province of al-Jawf after being tried and convicted for practicing sorcery, the interior ministry said, without giving details of the charges.
“The citizen . . . practiced acts of witchcraft and sorcery,” Saudi newspaper al-Watan cited the interior ministry as saying. “The death sentence was carried out on the accused yesterday (Monday) in the Qurayyat district in al-Jawf region.”
Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy, has no written criminal code, which is instead based on an uncodified form of Islamic sharia law as interpreted by the country’s judges.