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February 3 2008 | SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia

Three Burmese executed for burglary

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RIAD, - Le autorita' saudite hanno preso la decisione, in risposta alla crescente ondata di crimini che sta colpendo il paese, di giustiziare tre uomini accusati di furto con scasso in un'abitazione privata della capitale.
I tre uomini, originari della Birmania, sono stati condannati a morte nella citta' della Mecca per aver rubato gioielli d'oro dalla casa di una donna, precedentemente imbavagliata e minacciata con armi da taglio, cosi' da impedirne qualsiasi reazione o richiesta di aiuto. Uno dei tre arrestati aveva gia' precedenti per furto.
Lo scorso febbraio, quattro abitanti dello Sri Lanka sono stati condannati alla decapitazione in luogo pubblico per rapina a mano armata, sanzione definita dall'Osservatorio per i Diritti Umani come una vergognosa pratica.
Le autorita' saudite hanno affermato di voler estendere l'adozione della sharia (la legge islamica) e di volerla applicare alla lettera: una scelta che a loro avviso continuerebbe a garantire pieni diritti a musulmani e non musulmani.



Saudi Arabia executes three Myanmar men for burglary

RIYADH,  - Saudi Arabia took the unusual step on Wednesday of executing three men for burgling a home and robbing its owner at knifepoint, in a sign of concern in the strict Islamic state over rising crime.
The three men from Myanmar were put to death in Mecca for stealing gold jewellery from the house of a woman who they had tied up to prevent her calling for help and threatened with knives, the official Saudi News Agency said.
It said the men sold the jewellery and one of them had carried out previous thefts.

Saudi Arabia usually carries out executions by public beheading for murder, rape, drug smuggling and, increasingly, armed robbery.
Four Sri Lankans were beheaded last February for armed robbery after what U.S.-based Human Rights Watch called a sham trial. The men told the group they were driven by poverty.

Saudi Arabia says it is implementing Islamic sharia law to the letter and that sharia ensures full rights for Muslims and non-Muslims, who must abide by the laws of the desert country.
The Saudi media has talked about a wave of crime which is often blamed on expatriate labour, who account for some 7 million of the 24 million population.

Saudi Arabia suffers sharp disparities in the distribution of wealth.
Ordinary Saudis and foreigners have suffered a rise in the basic cost of living over the past year, as inflation hit 6.5 percent in December.
But the country, an absolute monarchy ruled by the Saudi royal family, is enjoying windfall profits from high oil prices.

(Reporting by Andrew Hammond)

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