Saudi Arabia: Foreign worker beheaded in death sentence execution

Riyadh, 14 Oct. (AKI) - A Filipino worker was beheaded by sword on Tuesday in the coastal city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia after he was found guilty of killing a Saudi citizen in the Islamic holy city of Mecca by suffocating the man and piercing his neck with a pen.

The worker, Jenifer Bidoya, also known as Venancio Ladion, was found guilty by Saudi Arabia's highest court, the Supreme Judicial Council.

The first sentence was issued in April 2007 by a Sharia (Islamic) law court in Jeddah.

The execution was carried out despite appeals by Philippine President Gloria Arroyo to Saudi's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud.

The family of the victim also refused to forgive Bidoya.

Sharia law has both public and private liability, thus even if the king would have pardoned Bidoya, the family's insistence on carrying out the execution means it had to be carried out.

Authorities also said that a Saudi man, Fahd al-Shadoukhey, was beheaded on Tuesday after being convicted of theft and rape while under the influence of alcohol.

There are hundreds of thousands of Filipinos that work in Saudi Arabia, one of the first countries to accept immigrant workers from Manila in the 1970's.

The execution comes amid reports by rights group Amnesty International claiming that the number of executions in the kingdom has sharply increased and that a disproportionate number are foreigners from Asian and African countries..

AI says the way in which the death penalty is imposed is unfair, secretive and harsh.


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