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16 Jan

Saudi Arabia publicly beheads woman in holy Mecca

Ensaf Haidar, centre, wife of the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, holds a vigil in Montreal, Quebec, urging Saudi Arabia to free her husband Getty Images

Saudi Arabia publicly beheads woman in holy Mecca as blogger lashings are postponed

The Burmese woman was beheaded prompting criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, following Raif Badawi’s sentence

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have publicly beheaded a woman in Islam’s holy city of Mecca, prompting further criticism of the country’s human rights record.

Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Basim, a Burmese woman who resided in Saudi Arabia, was executed by sword on Monday after being dragged through the street and held down by four police officers.

She was convicted of the sexual abuse and murder of her seven-year-old step-daughter.

A video showed how it took three blows to complete the execution, while the woman screamed “I did not kill. I did not kill.” It has now been removed by YouTube as part of its policy on “shocking and disgusting content”.

There are two ways to behead people according to Mohammed al-Saeedi, a human rights activist: “One way is to inject the prisoner with painkillers to numb the pain and the other is without the painkiller,” he told the Middle East Eye.

“This woman was beheaded without painkillers – they wanted to make the pain more powerful for her.”

The Saudi Ministry of the Interior said in a statement that it believed the sentence was warranted due to the severity of the crime.

The beheading is part of an alarming trend, which has seen the kingdom execute seven people in the first two weeks of this year. In 2014 the number of executions rose to 87, from 78 in 2013.

Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger, was due to receive the second set of 50 lashes today for insulting Islam, but it has been postponed on medical grounds.

Raif Badawi was convicted of cybercrime and insulting Islam after co-founding the now banned website Free Saudi Liberals

Raif Badawi was convicted of cybercrime and insulting Islam after co-founding the now banned website Free Saudi Liberals

Ali A Rizvi, one of the blogger’s best best friends told The Independent: “His wife told me that the lashings have been postponed, but it is only temporary.”……………………

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