A child offender has been beheaded in Saudi Arabia. The execution took place in
the city of Taif on 21 July 2007.
Dhahian Rakan al-Sibai'i was sentenced
to death for a murder he was accused of committing when he was just 15 years
old. He was held in a juvenile facility until his 18th birthday and then moved
to an adult prison. Dhahian appealed to the families of the victim to pardon him
-- as allowed by Shari'a law -- but the outcome of his appeal is not
In May 2007, Amnesty International issued urgent appeals to the
government of Saudi Arabia calling for a halt to his execution and urging
commutation of the death sentence against him.
Dhahian Rakan al-Sibai'i's
beheading is the latest in a recent spate of executions in Saudi Arabia. Since
September 2006, at least 143 people have been executed in the Kingdom, which has
one of the highest execution rates in the world.
usually take place behind closed doors without adequate legal representation and
invariably fall short of international fair trial standards. Children and adults
are often convicted on the basis of "confessions" obtained under duress,
including torture or other ill-treatment during incommunicado
Amnesty International is outraged by the beheading of Dhahian
Rakan al-Sibai'i and calls on King Abdullah to immediately halt all pending
executions and take all necessary steps to stop the imposition of death
sentences on juvenile offenders.