UN criticizes sharp rise in Saudi executions

AP News
Posted: Jan 06, 2012 5:05 AM

The U.N.'s human rights office has criticized a sharp rise in executions carried out by Saudi Arabia in 2011.

A spokesman for the U.N.'s High Commissioner for Human Rights says the number of executions jumped from 29 in 2010 to at least 70 last year.

Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva on Friday that the wide range of offenses for which the death penalty is pronounced was particularly troubling.

He says one woman was put to death last months after being found guilty of witchcraft.

Colville says Saudi Arabia's growing use of the death penalty goes against an international trend for fewer executions.

He says the U.N. human rights office also criticizes the frequent use of "inhuman" double amputation for robbery offenses.

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