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Woman Who Maintained Innocence Publicly Beheaded in Mecca

Illustration for article titled Woman Who Maintained Innocence Publicly Beheaded in Mecca

"I did not kill. I did not kill," were the last words uttered by Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Basim, who was beheaded 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.

Long condemned by human rights agitators, the country shows no signs of stopping the gruesome practice. 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 damning 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.

Image via AP

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I am 100% against the death penalty in any and all cases. That said, the idea that beheading is "barbaric" is just western racism.

In America, we electrocute people to death. We lock them in airtight containers in which we poison and suffocate them. Now, we administer lethal injection, which recent evidence suggests is inhumane. It's quite literally cruel and unusual.

Beheading, on the other hand, when done right, is almost-instantaneous and pain-free. I would argue it's the most humane way to end a life.