Saudi Arabia Executes Five Yemeni Men, Publicly Displays Bodies

Five Yemenis convicted of murder and robbery were executed in Saudi Arabia and their bodies displayed in public in the southwestern town of Jizan.

The beheadings of the men, who were reportedly members of a gang, bring Saudi Arabia's total number of executions this year to 47. Murder, armed robbery, drug trafficking, rape, and apostasy are capital offenses under the kingdom's Muslim Sharia law.

Yemen also has the death penalty and ranks sixth in the world when it comes number of executions, according to Amnesty International. Saudi Arabia ranks fourth, behind China, Iran, and Iraq. The United States ranks fifth.

Photos of the five corpses hanging from a rope high in the air tied to two cranes circulated on Twitter and Facebook on May 21, 2013 to the outrage of many users, including many Yemenis who were disturbed and enraged by the images of their executed countrymen.

5 Yemenin men executed and publically dispalyed in the streets of KSA (Photo via  @sanasiino)

Five Yemeni men were executed and publicly displayed in the streets of Saudi Arabia. Photo via @Bintbattuta87

On Twitter, a professor and editor in Saudi Arabia, Bayan (@BintBattuta87) wrote in dismay:

@BintBattuta87: Graphic: Image of 5 men executed today, their dead bodies hanging now in #Saudi streets. Fuck this country, wallah.

She added:

@BintBattuta87: GRAPHIC: #KSA: Ppl sit around staring at their dead bodies. Nobody stands up to condemn this?! That's what kills me:

Haykal Bafana (@Bafana3), a Yemeni lawyer based in Yemen, tweeted a photo of the scene and commented:

@Bafana3: This is how Saudi Arabia executes armed robbers. 5 #Yemen men executed yesterday. #KSA

A close up of the 5 executed men in Saudi Arabia (Photo via @Bafana3)

A close up of the five executed men in Saudi Arabia. Photo via @Bafana3.

Sana2 Al-Yemen (@Sanasiino), a Yemeni journalist based in the UK, pointed out:

@Sanasiino: Saudi executes 5 Yemenis in Jizan & leaves them for the world to see. These are the people ruling over our Holy Land

Journalist and former Middle East editor for The Guardian newspaper Brian Whitaker (@Brian_Whit) tweeted a link to his latest post:

‏@Brian_Whit: Saudi Arabia steps up executions. Headless bodies put on display (

In the piece, he observed how the Web was affecting the perception of Saudi Arabia's around the world:

The idea behind public executions is to deter others, though it's not at all clear that they do. But nowadays, as a result of the internet, it is not just the Saudi public that sees them and this reinforces international perceptions that the kingdom is barbarous.

Quoting Amnesty International, he added:

. Amnesty International says:

“Authorities in Saudi Arabia routinely flout international standards for fair trial and safeguards for defendants, who are often denied representation by lawyers and not informed of the progress of legal proceedings against them.

“They may be convicted solely on the basis of ‘confessions’ obtained under torture or other ill-treatment.”

Yemeni blogger Afrah Nasser (@Afrahnasser), who is based in Sweden, challenged Yemen to speak out against the execution of its citizens:

@Afrahnasser: I dare Mr. Hadi or anyone from #Yemen‘s foreign ministry issue a statement to condemn #Saudi execution of 5 Yemeni!


  • […] by Noon Arabia · comments (0) Share: Donate · facebook · twitter · reddit · StumbleUpon · […]

  • […] by Noon Arabia · comments (0) Share: Donate · facebook · twitter · reddit · StumbleUpon · […]

  • Michael Leonard Rowley

    Freedom from Fear…Now.

  • fikri malemsenen

    Margahayuland –

  • bugeye58

    So what do you expect? Give murderers ans armed robber a time out? The got what they deserved.

    • grep

      how do you know they were even guilty? there isn’t a government in the world that you can trust to have the power of life & death over its citizens, especially one that is governed in the name of a religion

      • Irhada

        I don’t think it’s got to really do with religion but Saudi Arabian kill people with not much evidence at all, it’s stupidity!!!!
        No one lives forever so god will judge why they done that.

      • Freeway1

        They govern based on their own pagan religion that is violent and calls for frequent bloodshed. The religion I’m talking about is Wahhabism which is masquerading itself as Islam but really isn’t.

      • Lee Solomon

        But this is exactly what our government does… It rules with authority over life and death. It just looks different from five dead bodies hanging on a street. We put our dead bodies where we don’t have to look at them– but the message still gets to the people whom the State wants to live in fear. Not condoning Saudi’s choices, simply condemning ours along side of theirs.

    • Irhada

      That’s so dumb they could have just had time in jail, they didn’t kill anyone anyways so don’t know why they were killed Saudi Arabia doesn’t know Islam properly because that was bad.

    • Thomas Ashez

      You are a savage neanderthal.

  • kursus komputer

    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.

  • […] more » Global Voice Online See […]

  • bashubibi

    Is anyone concerned about loss of innocent lives in these air strikes? Bombs don’t discriminate.

  • Thomas Ashez

    Thanks, Noon Arabia, for this. We in the States know so little about our national ally, Saudi Arabia. If the public knew more, our policies would change.

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency

No thanks, show me the site