Saudi Arabian woman executed on charges of witchcraft

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Saudi Arabia

A woman in Saudi Arabia was beheaded this week on charges of "witchcraft and sorcery," in spite of protests from Amnesty International, and the fact that it's 2011. Amina bint Abdul Halim bin Salem Nasser was the second Saudi Arabian to be executed on witchcraft charges this year, in spite of the fact that they are not considered a capital offense in the country.

"The charges of 'witchcraft and sorcery' are not defined as crimes in Saudi Arabia,"  said an Amnesty International official. "To use them to subject someone to the cruel and extreme penalty of execution is truly appalling." The official continued:

"While we don't know the details of the acts which the authorities accused Amina of committing, the charge of sorcery has often been used in Saudi Arabia to punish people, generally after unfair trials, for exercising their right to freedom of speech or religion."

Saudi Arabia is also one of the view counties to reject a recent UN resolution calling for a global end to executions. Even though the U.S. can't exactly point fingers when it comes to unbelievably gratuitous executions, the idea of anyone being punished, let alone beheaded, on charges as outlandish as witchcraft is pretty hard to stomach.