Beheadings, Amputations, Lashings, Torture -- Cannot Be Changed

Saudi Arabia's Justice Minister has defended tough Sharia punishments such as beheading, cutting off hands and lashing, claiming they "cannot be changed" because they are enshrined in Islamic law. "These punishments are based on divine religious texts and we cannot change them," Mohammed Al Eissa said during a recent speech in Washington.

Mohammed Al Eissa said Islamic law had helped to reduce crime in the conservative kingdom. "Capital punishment is carried out in many other countries, including the US, and was not isolated to Islamic states" he said.

Middle Eastern Nations Spike in Executions

It sounds like a scene from a grisly horror film ... five decapitated bodies swinging from a horizontal pole suspended over the main square in the city of Jijzan in southwestern Saudi Arabia. Beside each body hangs a plastic bag containing the victim's head. Yards away, students are arriving at a local university to take their exams.

These haunting images of five Yemeni men who were executed in Saudi Arabia provide gruesome details of the aftermath of public executions.