Saudi Arabia postpones crucifixion, firing squad executions
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia A Saudi security official says executions of seven Saudis sentenced to death by crucifixion and firing squad have been postponed for a week.
He said King Abdullah would review the sentences. He met families of the seven on Sunday.
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The official said on Tuesday that the ruler of the southwestern province of Asir, Prince Faisal bin Abdel Aziz, ordered the postponement. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The seven were juveniles at the time they were arrested for armed robbery, a capital offense in Saudi Arabia. One told The Associated Press by telephone from prison that they were tortured to force confessions and barred access to lawyers.
Nasser al-Qahtani, now 24, told The Associated Press Monday that he was arrested as part of 23-member ring that stole from jewelry stores in 2004 and 2005.
"I killed no one. I didn't have weapons while robbing the store, but the police tortured me, beat me up and threatened to assault my mother to extract confessions that I had a weapon with me while I was only 15," he said. "We don't deserve death."
Human rights groups called on the Saudi government to cancel the executions.
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