Saudi Arabia is known for its harsh drug laws. Last week, two people were beheaded for smuggling hash into the country. Additionally, a Saudi citizen was beheaded for smuggling amphetamines.
Saudi Arabia And Drugs
Many countries are beginning to accept cannabis. But Saudi Arabia remains opposed to it. In fact, getting caught with weed and other drugs is punishable by death.
According to reports, Yemeni citizens Ahmed Mubarak and Abdul Salam al-Jamali were executed last week. They were caught trying to sneak hash into the country.
Hash is a potent form of cannabis. It is made out of compressed cannabis resin. After being convicted of smuggling the drug, the two men were beheaded in Jazan. The city is in the southwest of Saudi Arabia, near its border with Yemen.
To the north, in the region of Tabuk, another man was executed for breaking drug laws. Saudi citizen Daifallah al-Omrani was also beheaded. He was convicted of smuggling amphetamines.
A History Of Executions
Last week’s killings were the latest in the country’s ongoing history of executing criminals. In most cases, state executions are carried out as beheadings.
Last year, Saudi Arabia beheaded four members of the same family for drug possession. In particular, they were caught with large amounts of hash.
The government did not report how much hash the men had. Furthermore, Amnesty International raised concerns about the entire case. The group claimed the four men confessed to the crimes under torture.
There are currently no additional details about last week’s executions. But human rights groups like Amnesty International have voiced concern over Saudi Arabia’s high numbers of executions. Many of them are for breaking drug laws.
Back in 2015, the country killed 153 people. Most of them were for drug crimes. Things got worse in 2016. Last year, the country executed more people than it had in two decades.
And so far this year, things do not look any better. After last week’s beheadings, there have been 63 executions so far this year. On January 2, the country put to death 47 individuals. They were convicted of terrorism.
The Global War On Drugs
Last week’s executions are the most extreme example of the global War on Drugs. But even in less severe countries, anti-drug laws criminalize huge numbers of people.
In recent years, a number of organizations have ramped up efforts to end the global War on Drugs. For example, last year the Global Commission on Drug Policy issued a statement calling on the UN to push for the decriminalization of drugs.
In the statement, the group said countries should stop incarcerating people for drug crimes. Similarly, it demanded an end to capital punishment for drug-related offenses. Along with Saudi Arabia, there are currently more than two dozen countries where drug possession and sale can lead to a death sentence.