Jeddah, Apr 20: Authorities in Riyadh executed on Friday two soldiers convicted of raping a 20-year-old expatriate woman, the Interior Ministry said.
The soldiers, who worked for the Ministry of Defense and Aviation, stopped the victim who was riding in a car driven by her father. The soldiers showed the couple their military IDs, and told the man to disembark saying he was wanted for security reasons, the Saudi Press Agency said quoting a ministry statement.
The statement said one of the soldiers then drove the woman to a desert area and raped her, while the other remained with the father.
The soldiers were named as Abdul Rahman ibn Saeed Al-Zahrani and Abdul Rahman ibn Qassim Al-Feefi. The ministry said the two had misused their official powers to stop the expatriate and rape his daughter.
The ministry said one of the soldiers threatened to kill the man when he tried to reason with him. “The soldier who raped the girl later returned to meet his colleague who had taken the expatriate for a drive,” the ministry said.
It added that a police patrol arrived at the scene just when the rapist was returning.
“The expatriate then explained to police what had happened to him and his daughter,” the statement said.
Police immediately arrested the two soldiers, who confessed their crime. The first soldier was convicted of kidnap and rape, while the second was convicted of helping his colleague to kidnap and rape, and threatening to murder.
A general court in Riyadh sentenced the two soldiers to death, and the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Judiciary Council endorsed the verdict. The execution was carried out in Riyadh in the presence of a large number of witnesses.
The ministry did not state when the crime took place or the expatriates’ identities.
Citizens and expatriates welcomed the execution of the criminals and praised the government for stringently punishing those responsible. One Saudi said the soldiers were supposed to protect the life and honor of people, and deserved to die 50 times for the crime.
“I take this opportunity to congratulate the Saudi judiciary,” said an Egyptian expatriate. “The execution of the two soldiers has increased my confidence in the Saudi judicial system,” he added.
Abdullah Al-Anazi, a Saudi, said the beheading of the rapist and his accomplice would serve as a deterrent. “In qisas (retribution) there is life for you,” he said, quoting a verse from the Holy Qur’an.
The ministry also announced the execution in Tabuk of two convicted Syrian drug traffickers — Faras Faisal Al-Aghbar and Faras Hussein Maktabi. The two men were arrested by police while receiving an unspecified quantity of drugs.