RIYADH: One more Pakistani named Mohammed Ghafour Hashim Khan executed in Saudi Arabia involved in smuggling heroin. This is said to be the latest execution of a foreigner by Saudi Kingdom. .
Mohammed Ghafour Hashim Khan was convicted of smuggling “a large amount” of heroin into the country, the ministry said in a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency.
The sentence was carried out in Eastern Province. Khan’s case brings to 11 the number of Pakistanis who have been executed since October in a year that has seen 83 foreigners and Saudis executed in the kingdom for the offence.
In addition to amphetamines and other drugs, authorities claimed to have seized almost 18 kilogram’s (40 pounds) of raw heroin during the calendar year that ended in October, the interior ministry has said.
The government is battling narcotics “because of their great harm to individuals and society”, the ministry says, but foreign rights groups are critical of the kingdom’s judicial system.
The Ansar Burney Trust had claimed in December that as many as 50 Pakistanis are facing execution for smuggling narcotics into the kingdom.
Families and rights campaigners complain that the trials are opaque and unfair, and accuse the Pakistani government of doing nothing to help its citizens, afraid of offending an important and hugely wealthy ally. In recent years the Gulf has become an increasingly important market for illicit drugs, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
In August and September alone, nearly 400 people, including around 300 foreigners, were arrested for possessing or dealing heroin, according to the Saudi government.
Saudi Arabia had the third-highest number of recorded executions in 2013, behind Iran and Iraq, said Amnesty International.
The rights watchdog did not have reliable data from China which implemented the most death penalty sentences.