Shock: 7 Saudis Set to Be Executed by Crucifixion and Firing Squad for Juvenile Jewelry Heist
(TheBlaze/AP) — Speaking over a smuggled cellphone from his prison cell, one of seven Saudis set to be put to death Tuesday by crucifixion and firing squad for armed robbery appealed for help to stop the executions.
Nasser al-Qahtani told The Associated Press from Abha General prison Monday that he was arrested as part of 23-member ring that stole from jewelry stores in 2004 and 2005. He said they were tortured to confess and had no access to lawyers.
“I killed no one. I didn’t have weapons while robbing the store, but the police tortured me, beat me up and threatened to assault my mother to extract confessions that I had a weapon with me while I was only 15,” he said. “We don’t deserve death.”
A leading human rights group added its appeal to Saudi authorities to stop the executions.
Al-Qahtani, now 24, said he and the most of the ring were juveniles at the time of the thefts. They were arrested in 2006. The seven received death sentences in 2009, the Saudi newspaper Okaz reported then.
Last Saturday, he said, Saudi King Abdullah ratified the death sentences and sent them to Abha. Authorities set Tuesday for the executions. They also determined the methods.
The main defendant, Sarhan al-Mashayeh, is to be crucified for three days. The others are to face firing squads.
Al-Qahtani faced a judge three times during eight years in detention. He said that the judge didn’t assign a lawyer to defend them and didn’t listen to complains of torture.
“We showed him the marks of torture and beating, but he didn’t listen,” he said. “I am talking to you now and my relatives are telling me that the soil is prepared for our executions tomorrow,” he said, referring to the place where he will be standing to be fired at.
Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islamic Shariah law under which people convicted of murder, rape or armed robbery can be executed, usually by sword.
Several people were reported crucified in Saudi Arabia last year. Human rights groups have condemned crucifixions in the past, including cases in which people are beheaded and then crucified. In 2009, Amnesty International condemned such an execution as “the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.”
The punishment is so severe in part because, experts speculate, the offenders came from the country’s poorer south, which is generally looked down upon.
“If one person belonged to political heavyweight regions, the verdict wouldn’t have been harsh,” Political analyst Mohammed al-Qahtani said.
Ali Al-Ahmed, the head of the Washington-based Institute of Gulf Affairs, elaborated: “The south is very poor, and that is why rebellion comes from there…and this is why sentences are harsh, because Saudi authorities want to scare them.”
Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, concluded: “It will be outrageous if the Saudi authorities go ahead with these executions…It is high time for the Saudis to stop executing child offenders and start observing their obligations under international human rights law.”
This post may be updated.
Benghazi, IRS, AP...What's next? Only TheBlaze TV offers the truth from Glenn Beck, Andrew Wilkow, and Real News from TheBlaze. Get instant access and a free trial here.
- ‘Bigoted, Religious [Zealots]‘: High School Senior Allegedly Expelled, Charged With Felonies Over Gay Relationship With ‘Consenting’ Fellow Student 1,037 Comments
- ‘The Daily Show’ Creator Makes Outrageously Offensive Anti-Conservative Joke About Okla. Tornado 462 Comments
- Washington Times Writer: Fox News Scandal Goes ‘Much Deeper,’ W.H. Sitting on Something Top Obama Aides ‘Terrified’ About 436 Comments
- University Will Investigate Christian Professor’s Intelligent Design Class Following Atheist Furor 313 Comments
- See the First Behind-the-Scenes Photos as Beck and Mercury One Survey the Damage in Okla. 252 Comments
- ‘Death! You F**k!’: Bat Mitzvah Chaperone Unleashes Explosive, Profanity-Laced Tirade Against Kids Over Candy-Throwing Incident Read More
- How Can God Let Tragedies Like the Okla. Tornado Exist? Pastors Weigh In 154 Comments
- Is This Video of Pope Francis Performing an Exorcism? Read More
- Boston Cardinal Snubs Irish PM Over Abortion Support Read More
- Incredible: The Moment a Woman’s Dog Emerges from Rubble During TV Interview Right After She Describes Losing Him 226 Comments
- China Sets off What Could Be the World’s Longest Demolition Read More
- Here are the 5 Most Interesting Moments from Tuesday’s Hearing on the IRS Scandal 110 Comments
- Jay Carney Shifts IRS Timeline (Again!) Read More
- Top IRS Official at Center of Political Targeting Scandal Will Plead the Fifth 134 Comments
- Disgraced IRS Interim Chief Now Fully Admits Knowledge of Planted Question (but Did It Reveal a Past Half-Truth?) Read More
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ Read More
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- See the Record-Setting Python a Man Caught With His Bare Hands (and Guess How Much It Weighed) Read More
- Garcetti builds growing lead as LA picks new mayor
- Iran's Ahmadinejad denounces election decision
- 600 police photos of Tucson rampage scene released
- Chinese premier begins 2-day visit to Pakistan
- Anthony Weiner launches bid to become NYC mayor
- Republican divisions may hinder party's momentum
- House panel seeks to curb military sexual assaults
- Amid immigration reform, calls to change asylums