SAUDI ARABIA: Sudanese man is publicly beheaded for being a 'sorcerer'

At least the Saudis smite the neck in one quick blow, rather than slowly sawing it off as so many other Muslim beheaders do.

UK DAILY MAIL  Crouched on his knees and blindfolded, Abdul Hamid Bin Hussain Bin Moustafa al-Fakki was executed in a car park Medina, in the west of the country, as dozens looked on last month.

The Sudanese man, who was killed on September 20, is believed to have been the 44th person executed in Saudi Arabia this year – and the 11th foreign national. The total for 2011 is 17 more than for the whole of 2010. The alarming rise in the number of executions in the country has led to criticism from a number of human rights charities.

Abdul Hamid is understood to have been arrested in 2005 after he was entrapped by a man working for the Mutawa’een (religious police). He was asked to concoct a spell that would cause the officer’s father to leave his second wife. According to the officer’s account Abdul Hamid agreed to carry out the curse in exchange for 6,000 Saudi Arabian riyals (approximately £1,000). He was beaten after his arrest and thought to have been forced to admit to acts of sorcery.

In a secret trial, where he was not allowed legal representation, he was sentenced to death by the General Court in Medina in March 2007. Few details are available about his trial but he is reported to have been tried behind closed doors and without legal representation.

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