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April 03, 2013

Where's the Coverage? Saudi Arabia Beheads and Crucifies Man


Virtually on the eve of Good Friday last week, Saudi Arabia beheaded a Yemeni national, Mohammed Rashad Khairi Hussein, convicted of sodomy and murder. Then, authorities crucified his body.

Shamefully, United Press International omitted mention of the crucifixion in its coverage of the execution. Only the British newspaper The Mail ran a full article on this story while Agence France-Presse published a brief. Sadly, barely any mainstream news outlets picked it up and none that we could find in the United States.

Here is the AFP brief in its entirety:

Saudi authorities have beheaded a Yemeni man and then crucified his body after he was convicted of murdering a Pakistani national, the kingdom's interior ministry says.

"The Yemeni citizen Mohammed Rashad Khairi Hussein killed a Pakistani, Pashteh Sayed Khan, after he committed sodomy with him," a statement carried by state news agency SPA said on Wednesday.

The Yemeni was also convicted of carrying out a series of attacks and robberies.

The execution in the southern city of Jizan was followed by crucifixion, implemented by the ultra-conservative country for serious crimes.

The beheading brings to 28 the number of people put to death in Saudi Arabia so far this year.

In 2012, the kingdom executed 76 people, according to an AFP tally based on official figures. The US-based Human Rights Watch put the number at 69.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict version of sharia, or Islamic law.

That is a total of 132 words. Yet, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, network news and others could find no space or airtime for it. Meanwhile, when a convicted terrorist dies in an Israeli prison from cancer, The New York Times devotes six columns and a picture to the ensuing protests. While we are still waiting for the Times and others to cover the death of Ayman Samarah in a Palestinian Authority prison, is it too much to ask that the news media cover an event as extreme as a crucifixion? Two days before Good Friday?

There was coverage a number of weeks ago of Saudi Arabia’s plan to crucify a jewel thief while six of his compatriots were to be executed by beheading. Even though these crimes were committed when the offenders were still minors, Saudi authorities in the end publicly executed all seven by firing squad. Some speculate the kingdom may have used a firing squad because there is a shortage of swordsmen to perform beheadings.

It seems there was one swordsman available for Hussein’s beheading. However, apparently there weren’t enough journalists available to cover his crucifixion. Crucifixion! Where’s the coverage?

Posted by SC at April 3, 2013 03:11 PM


Oh, addition to beheading and stonings, the Saudis are now crucifying people. No coverage? Interesting indeed.

Posted by: Sugarhitman at April 7, 2013 10:39 AM

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