Saudi Arabian authorities publicly beheaded a woman in the holy city of Mecca after a court convicted her of sexually abusing and murdering her stepdaughter. The kingdom has executed nine people only two weeks into the new year.
The video made rounds on YouTube, but the company removed it since it violated policy. It showed men dragging Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Basim, a Burmese resident, through the streets. Then four police officers commenced to “hold the woman down before a sword-wielding man slices her head off, using three blow to complete the act.” Basim screamed, “I did not kill! I did not kill!” the entire time. The men killed her without painkillers.
“One way is to inject the prisoner with painkillers to numb the pain and the other is without the painkiller,” said Mohammed al-Saeedi, a human rights activist. “This woman was beheaded without painkillers – they wanted to make the pain more powerful for her.”
WARNING — THE FOLLOWING VIDEO IS GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING:
The Saudi Ministry of Interior justified the brutal death. “[The punishment] implements the rulings of God against all those who attack innocents and spill their blood,” the Ministry wrote in a statement. “The government warns all those who are seduced into committing similar crimes that the rightful punishment is their fate.”
The Saudi government, which governs under Sharia law, considers beheading the most human way to kill a person, compared to the other state-sanction methods of execution: stoning, crucifixion, and death by firing squad. The death penalty is applied for horrific crimes like rape, but also for sorcery and adultery.
News broke on Friday that the Saudi government halted lashings against Saudi blogger Raif Badawi. A court sentenced him to 1,000 lashes and ten years in prison because he insulted Islam on his site “Free Saudi Liberals.” Lashes were to be given every Friday until the completion of all 1,000.
In August 2014, Amnesty International reported the Saudi kingdom executed a person “almost every day” during the month. The charity claimed the kingdom carried out 22 executions “between August 4 and August 22, compared to 17 executions between January and July” of 2014. In total, the kingdom executed 87 people in 2014, compared to the 78 in 2013.