Beheading seems like something that happened during medieval times. It’s arguably the most sinister form of capital punishment. So why are we still using it?
Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Basim, was beheaded on Monday in Saudi Arabia after being dragged through the streets by four police officers.
According to The Independent, the Burmese national living in Saudi Arabia was convicted of the sexual assault and murder of her seven-year-old stepdaughter.
Human rights agitators have long fought for this long-standing tradition in Saudi Arabia to be disbanded. But so far, it’s only getting worse.
The Independent notes that the Kingdom executed “seven people in the first two weeks of this year. In 2014 the number of executions rose to 87, from 78 in 2013.”
Last August, The Human Rights Campaign published a report on the country’s surge of beheadings:
International standards require countries that retain the death penalty to use it only for the “most serious crimes,” and in exceptional circumstances. In all cases, those sentenced to death should have the right to seek pardon or commutation of their sentence. In 1996, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions stated explicitly that the death penalty should be eliminated for drug-related offenses.
The Death Penalty Worldwide Database, which collects information on executions across the globe, shows that Saudi Arabia has one of the highest execution rates in the world, and applies the death penalty to a range of offenses that do not constitute “most serious crimes,” including drug offenses, adultery, sorcery, and apostasy.
An alleged video of Basim’s beheading was available on YouTube but was yanked for its “shocking and disgusting content.” There is another, unconfirmed video of the beheading currently making its way around the internet.
We can only hope that this video too, is revoked, as well as the gruesome practice that led to this woman’s death.