The Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry announced yesterday that they had executed a woman for practising “witchcraft and sorcery”.
A statement published by the state news agency said Amina bint Abdul Halim bin Salem Nasser who was originally arrested in April 2009, was beheaded on Monday in the northern province of Jawf.
The ministry gave no further details of the charges which the woman faced.
The woman was the second person to be executed for witchcraft in Saudi Arabia this year. The beheading took to 73 the number of executions in Saudi Arabia this year.
The London-based Arabic newspaper, al-Hayat, quoted a member of the religious police as saying that she was in her 60s and had tricked people into giving her money, claiming that she could cure their illnesses.
Human rights group Amnesty International, which has campaigned for Saudis previously sentenced to death on sorcery charges, said it had never heard of her case until now.
Amnesty says that Saudi Arabia does not actually define sorcery as a capital offence. However, some of its conservative clerics have urged the strongest possible punishments against fortune-tellers and faith healers because they view them as a threat to Islam.
In September, Amnesty International called on the Muslim kingdom where 140 people were on death row to establish an “immediate moratorium on executions.”
The human rights group said Saudi Arabia was one of a minority of states which voted against a UN General Assembly resolution last December calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions.
Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia”s strict interpretation of Islamic shariah law.
Join us for a free webinar, “How America”s Addiction To Saudi Oil is Funding Global Terror” on Thursday December 15 at 10pm EST with Sarah Stern, Founder and President of EMET – The Endowment for Middle East Truth. Register now!