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Convicted Saudi Rapist Beheaded

August 28, 2000

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) _ A Saudi man convicted of kidnapping and raping two girls was beheaded Sunday, the Interior Ministry said.

Dawi al-Rashidi was executed in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, the ministry said in a statement, adding that he had been previously convicted of a similar offense. It gave no further details.

Sunday’s execution brings to at least 89 the number of people beheaded in the kingdom this year. At least 99 people were executed last year.

Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islamic law which calls for death sentences for murder, rape, drug trafficking and armed robbery. Executions are carried out with a sword in a public square.

The executions have been criticized by human rights organizations, which say Saudi Arabia often fails to give the accused fair trials and point out that Islam calls for using the punishment sparingly.

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