Saudi Arabia executes people over drugs while its princes are caught with tons of drugs at the airport
(This article is published in Salon.)
Saudi prince Abdel Mohsen bin Walid bin Abdulaziz was caught in an airport in Lebanon on Monday with over two tons of drugs.
Lebanese security found 40 suitcases full of more than 4,000 pounds of amphetamine pills and cocaine on the prince’s private plane, which was on its way to Saudi capital city Riyadh. A security source told AFP that this was the largest smuggling operation ever foiled by Beirut International Airport security.
While this may seem like just another case of rich and powerful aristocrats going wild, the implications of this drug bust are much more insidious: In Saudi Arabia, people are executed over drugs. And not rarely — several times a month, on average.
In fact, just hours after the Saudi prince was caught with thousands of pounds of drugs, a Pakistani drug smuggler was executed by the Saudi government.
Roughly half (47 percent) of people executed in Saudi Arabia are killed for drug-related offenses, according to Amnesty International. From August 2014 to August 2015, Amnesty documented 175 Saudi executions, an average of one every two days.
Every four days then, on average, the Saudi government executes someone for drug-related offenses — while its own princes are caught in airports with tons of drugs.