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Man arrested in Saudi Arabia for filming the beheading of a woman

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Zach McAuliffe
Zach McAuliffe is a University of Dayton alumni with degrees in journalism and English. He wants to present people with all the facts they need to make informed decisions on the world around them. He also enjoys Shakespeare and long walks on the beach with his puppy Lily.

The Saudi Arabian police have arrested the man who filmed the public beheading of a woman in the streets of Mecca.

The footage, according to the Independent, showed Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Bassim being dragged through the streets of Mecca before four police officers surrounded her in the street. A man in a white robe then steps forward with a curved sword and deals three blows to Bassim’s neck, severing her head from her body.

Bassim was convicted of sexually assaulting and murdering her stepdaughter, according to Mediaite, but she claimed her innocence in the video up until the first sword blow met her neck.

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“I did not kill. There is no God but God. I did not kill,” Bassim said while the police and executioner surrounded her. “This is injustice… I did not kill.”

After the public execution, the footage of the event was posted online by a human rights activist group in order to draw attention to the judicial system in place in the country. A UN investigation into the trials which have led to executions in Saudi Arabia called the trials “grossly unfair,” according to the Daily Mail.

Once the Saudi government saw the video online, an unnamed man was brought into custody, and a Saudi official told the New York Times, the man will face charges related to cyber-security.

The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), an organization based in Mecca, according to VICE News, said the dissemination of the footage is a crime and they want the person who filmed the execution punished.

“Those who disseminated the clip are not less guilty than those who filmed the execution,” said Mohammed Al Sahli, a member of the NSHR.

Other videos have been circulating online depicting public executions in Saudi Arabia. According to the Times of Israel, 10 people have been executed publicly this year already, while the number of public executions in 2014 was 87.

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