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Saudi executions of Sri Lankan robbers violated international law: HRW

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [official website] has accused the Saudi government of violating international law when it beheaded four Sri Lankan robbers [HRW report] and placed their bodies on public display in the country's capital, Riyadh, on Monday. According to HRW, the four migrants, who were badly beaten [Daily Mirror report], had been imprisoned for years without access to legal representation. One of the men, Ranjith Silva, told HRW that the four men were never advised of their legal rights or warned that they faced execution. Sri Lanka twice petitioned King Abdullah [BBC profile] to repeal the death sentences. The Sri Lankan government is seeking to recover the four bodies [Daily News report]. HRW has criticized Saudi Arabia's human rights record [JURIST report] in the past.

International law guarantees insists that defendants found guilty of a capital crime are due basic protections, such as the right to an appeal. HRW on Thursday called for Saudi Arabia to halt all pending executions and retry those currently on death row. AP has more.

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