London, Oct 31: The Daily Mail today published shocking footage has surfaced of a Sudanese man being publicly beheaded in Saudi Arabia for being a 'sorcerer'.
Crouched on his knees and blindfolded, Abdul Hamid Bin Hussain Bin Moustafa al-Fakki was executed in a car park Medina, in the west of the country, as dozens looked on last month.
The grainy footage, too graphic, shows the executioner lining his sword up on the back of Abdul Hamid's neck, before one swift stroke decapitates him.
The Sudanese man, who was killed on September 20, is believed to have been the 44th person executed in Saudi Arabia this year - and the 11th foreign national.
Lebanese TV host Ali Hussain Sibat, who was sentenced to death over making predictions of the future on his show, had been scheduled to be beheaded on Friday.
His attorney May El Khansa said the execution did not take place on that day - but that did not mean Sibat has been given a reprieve.
The alarming rise in the number of executions in the country has led to criticism from a number of human rights charities.
Saudis are understood to prefer beheading by a sharp sword, as they think it more humane and quicker than electrocution and lethal injection.
And while the crime of 'sorcery' is undefined in Saudi Arabian law, it has been used to punish people for the legitimate exercise of their human rights.
Abdul Hamid is understood to have been arrested in 2005 after he was entrapped by a man working for the Mutawa'een (religious police).
He was asked to concoct a spell that would cause the officer's father to leave his second wife.
According to the officer's account Abdul Hamid agreed to carry out the curse in exchange for 6,000 Saudi Arabian riyals (approximately £1,000).
He was beaten after his arrest and thought to have been forced to admit to acts of sorcery.
In a secret trial, where he was not allowed legal representation, he was sentenced to death by the General Court in Medina in March 2007.
Few details are available about his trial but he is reported to have been tried behind closed doors and without legal representation.
At the time of his arrest, English language Saudi daily The Saudi Gazette ran an article entitled Magic Maids which said that 'we must face up to the threats from some maids and servants and their satanic games of witchcraft and sorcery, their robbery, murder, entrapment of husbands, corruption of children and other countless stories of crime that have been highlighted by both experts and victims of these crimes'.
Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's Director for the Middle East and North Africa, heavily criticised the killing.
He said: 'Abdul Hamid's execution is appalling as is Saudi Arabia's continuing use of this most cruel and extreme penalty.
'That he should have been executed without having committed anything that would appear to constitute a crime is yet another deeply upsetting example of why the Saudi Arabian government should immediately cease executions and take steps to abolish the death penalty.'
The charity had campaigned on Abdul Hamid's behalf following his arrest and had urged Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah to prevent his execution.
But it has been to no avail, and since the end of the holy month of Ramadan a few weeks ago, the Saudi Arabian authorities have resumed executions at an alarming pace.
According to Amnesty International seven people have been executed since the killings resumed on September 5.
Some 140 prisoners are believed to be facing the death penalty in Saudi Arabia.
And last December, Saudi Arabia was one of a minority of states that voted against a UN general assembly resolution calling for the worldwide moratorium on executions.