11 October 2011 The United Nations human rights office today said it is deeply distressed by the recent execution in Saudi Arabia of 10 men, eight of whom were foreign migrant workers, and called on the country to establish a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
The eight Bangladeshi migrant workers were beheaded in public in the capital, Riyadh, on Friday after they were found guilty of killing an Egyptian in 2007, according to media reports. Three other Bangladeshis were sentenced to prison terms and flogging in the same case.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) noted that, of the at least 58 people reportedly executed in Saudi Arabia this year, 20 were migrant workers.
“We call on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and all other States that still maintain the death penalty to respect international standards that provide safeguards to ensure protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty,” said OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville.
He told a news conference in Geneva that about 140 of the 193 UN Member States are believed to have abolished the death penalty or introduced a moratorium, either legally or in practice.
“We call on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to join these States and establish a moratorium on the use of the death penalty,” said Mr. Colville.
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