news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute| August 18, 2014| 11.00 pm IST

Saudi Arabia has executed four members of the same family after being convicted of “receiving large quantities of hashish.” The two sets of brothers from the same extended family were killed this morning in the south-eastern city of Najran.

Amnesty International has called for Saudi Arabian authorities to halt all executions, as the number of state killings in Saudi Arabia in the past two weeks has surged to 17 - a rate of more than one execution per day.

“The recent increase in executions in Saudi Arabia is a deeply disturbing deterioration. The authorities must act immediately to halt this cruel practice,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

“The death penalty is always wrong, and it is against international law to use it in cases involving non-lethal crimes and where evidence used to convict the person is based on ‘confessions’ extracted as a result of torture.”

Amnesty says the four relatives were put to death despite desperate last-minute efforts from family members to alert the world to their plight.

The family maintains that after being arrested and detained on several occasions after their alleged offence in 2007, false confessions were extracted from the men after torture during interrogation.

Saudi Arabia is one of the top executioners in the world, with more than 2,000 people executed between 1985 and 2013.

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