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Saudi Authorities Behead Woman for 'Sorcery'

A Saudi woman was beheaded for practicing 'sorcery' after complaints she was a medical fraud reached religious police.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 12/12/2011, 6:30 PM

A Saudi woman was beheaded Monday after being convicted of practicing sorcery, which is banned in the ultra-conservative kingdom, the Interior Ministry said.

Amina Bint Abdulhalim Nassar was executed in the northern province of Jawf for "practicing witchcraft and sorcery," the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.

Bin Salim was arrested in April 2009 and then sentenced to death in a subsequent trial.

According to a senior official from Saudi Arabia's religious police Bin Salim convinced her clients that she was able to treat any disease upon payment of around 3,000 Saudi Riyals (800 dollars) per session.

The official was reported as saying that investigations were launched following numerous complaints.

Saudi Arabia uses a strict interpretation of Islamic Shari'a law in its jurisprudence and also applies the death penalty to cases of armed robbery, drug trafficking, rape, murder, and apostasy from Islam.

The beheading brings the number of executions in the desert kingdom to 73 this year.

In November, a 45-year old Muslim man from Australia who was in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj was sentenced to 500 lashes for blasphemy.

The man's family says that even were he to be in perfect health, the sentence will almost certainly kill him.