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UN rights office distressed by Saudi executions

14 october 2011, 13:38
Migrant workers heading for Saudi Arabia at an immigration office. ©Reuters
Migrant workers heading for Saudi Arabia at an immigration office. ©Reuters
The UN human rights office Tuesday expressed distress at Saudi Arabia's execution of ten men, including eight Bangladeshis, and urged the kingdom to place a moratorium on the death penalty, AFP reports.

"We are deeply distressed at the public execution in Saudi Arabia last Friday of ten men, eight of whom were foreign migrant workers," said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

So far this year, 20 foreign workers have reportedly been executed in Saudi Arabia, he noted.

In this particular case, the defendants had access to lawyers and the Bangladeshi embassy was involved in the trial, said Colville.

However, "there are situations especially involving migrants where issues of legal support are sometimes problematic."

The body urged the kingdom and other countries that still carry out executions to "respect international standards that provide safeguards to ensure protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty."

It also called on the kingdom to "establish a moratorium on the use of the death penalty."

The eight Bangladeshis were beheaded for stealing goods from a warehouse and leaving its Egyptian guard to die.

On the same day, two Saudis were also beheaded.

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