South Asia

Saudi beheading of eight Bangladesh workers condemned

Bangladeshi Migrant workers in Qatar - 2010
There are many thousands of Bangladeshi migrant workers across the Middle East

The public execution of eight Bangladeshi migrant workers in Saudi Arabia has been condemned by a leading human rights group in Bangladesh, Ain O Salish Kendra.

The workers were beheaded in public in Riyadh on Friday after they were found guilty of killing an Egyptian in 2007.

Three other Bangladeshis were sentenced to prison terms and flogging in the same case.

More than two million Bangladeshis work in Saudi Arabia.

The human rights group says the execution of Bangladeshi workers should be condemned by anyone who cares for humanity.

It says that although the executions were carried out in accordance with Saudi law, the public beheading of the workers will cause immense suffering and trauma for their family members back at home.

It points out that often foreign workers don't understand Saudi court proceedings in Arabic and they rarely get lawyers to represent their case.

It has urged the Bangladeshi government to offer legal assistance to migrant workers facing trial.

The money sent home by migrant workers in Bangladesh play a crucial role in the country's economy.

Amnesty International says since the end of the holy month of Ramadan, executions have resumed in Saudi Arabia at an alarming rate.

The latest beheadings bring the total number of executions in the country this year to 58, more than twice the figure for the whole of 2010.

It says many of those executed in recent years have been foreign nationals, mostly migrant workers from developing countries.

It has called on the Saudi government for an immediate moratorium on executions and to commute all death sentences.

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