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Saudi Arabia Executes Four for Possession of Hashish

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia executed four men for possession of hashish on Monday, official media reported. The method of execution was not disclosed. Most executions in Saudi Arabia are beheadings but last year some men were shot by firing squad.

The four executed men were from Najran on the kingdom's southern border with Yemen, according to the reports. International human-rights group Amnesty International said the four men were two sets of brothers from the same extended family and that their confessions may have been obtained through torture. It said the offense had taken place in 2007. Saudi Arabia denies it practices torture. The country's Shariah Islamic legal code gives extensive powers to individual judges to base verdicts and sentences on their own interpretation of Muslim law. Critics say that means very different sentences can be handed out for similar crimes.

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- Reuters