Saudi Arabia continued a murderous year against drug offenders, beheading five more people earlier this month.

The United States continued its policy of silence, failing to condemn the violation of international and moral law of its ally.

The victims, their native countries and the drugs were:

  • Hamud Hassoun, Syria, amphetamines.
  • Hassan Musalamani, Syria, amphetamines.
  • Yussef al-Halqi, Syria, amphetamines.
  • Reda Idrisawi, Iran, hashish.
  • Izzat Khan Tor Qul, Pakistan, heroin.

Human Rights Watch has been tracking a particularly bloody year for executions in Saudi Arabia and drug offender executions generally worldwide, especially in China. Four men were executed last month as well. 

A large share of drug offender executions are committed against immigrants — such as Filipinos in China and the murders mention above — illustrating how majority populations use drug laws as a legal mechanism to punish those who differ from the dominant group.

The U.S. has been eerily silent on the state-ordered drug murders, both in government and in the media. The executions are routinely reported in British newspapers but seldom mention in U.S. publications.

Our own prejudices are the hardest to see.

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