During the last two weeks there have been 17 beheadings a rate of more than one a day.The families of the executed men had been asking for help from Amnesty as the executions became imminent but were told by the Interior Ministry to stop trying to contact Amnesty. Amnesty representative Said Bouhmedouha called the recent increase in beheadings a deeply disturbing deterioration and said: "The authorities must act immediately to halt this cruel practice". Four days previous to this execution a Pakastani was beheaded also for drug trafficking.
In Saudi Arabia a number of different crimes can be punished by death including rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery, and drug trafficking. There were 78 executions in the country last year. In August alone this year 19 people have been beheaded. Among those beheaded, Mohammed Al-Alawi was convicted for practicing sorcery.