Number of executions in Saudi Arabia crosses 100 this year

Four men were executed in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, the Interior Ministry said, taking the total number of executions so far this year in the kingdom to 102.

The four Saudi men were convicted of killing six people in a land dispute, according to the ministry, which said that the executions were carried out in the western town of Taif.

Saudi Arabia is among the top executioners in the world, according to international rights groups.

On January 2, authorities beheaded 47 people, including a prominent Shiite cleric, on terrorism-related charges.

Some 137 people were executed in the Gulf monarchy in 2015 convicted of different offences.

Saudi Arabia imposes the death penalty for murder, armed robbery, banditry, rape, drug-trafficking and witchcraft.

The kingdom, which applies a strict interpretation of Islamic law, has repeatedly rejected calls to end the death penalty, saying the punishment is aimed at deterring would-be offenders.

There were no beheadings during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which began in the kingdom on June 6. However, capital punishment resumed on Sunday when authorities put a Saudi murderer to death.

Saudi Arabia passes 'grim watershed' as it executes 100th person this year

In response to this news, Philip Luther Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme said:

"This is a grim watershed. With its 100th execution this year, Saudi Arabia is speeding along in its dogged use of a cruel and inhuman punishment, mindless of justice and human rights.

"At this rate, the Kingdom's executioners will soon match or exceed the number of people they put to death last year - which, at 158, was the highest recorded figure since 1995.

"Many of those executed have been convicted after deeply unfair trials, as a result of flaws in the justice system. The Saudi Arabian authorities must immediately establish an official moratorium on executions and abolish the death penalty once and for all."

In depth coverage

Top Shiite cleric among 47 executed in Saudi Arabia

Prominent Saudi Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr was among 47 people executed Saturday after convictions on terrorism and incitement to violence charges, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Read more
Last update: Sat, 02/01/2016 - 15:43

Saudi embassy in Tehran stormed after Shiite cleric's execution

Several demonstrators stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran and torched parts of the building, in reaction to the execution of a top Shiite cleric known for his activism against the Sunni government in Saudi Arabia.

Read more
Last update: Sun, 03/01/2016 - 12:28

Rights watchdogs urge Saudi Arabia be removed from UN rights council

The UN General Assembly should remove Saudi Arabia from the UN Human Rights Council for carrying out indiscriminate attacks in Yemen and using its position on the council to deflect accountability, human rights organizations said Wednesday.

Read more
Last update: Sun, 24/07/2016 - 15:06
Last update: Sun, 24/07/2016 - 16:01

More from World

MSF: 25 bodies recovered off Libya, 246 migrants rescued

Twenty-five bodies have been recovered and 246 people saved in Mediterranean Sea rescue operations, the medical...

Iran's Revolutionary Guard unveil new "suicide" drones: report

Iran's Revolutionary Guard unveiled a new drone, which can also be used for kamikaze-style attacks, the Tasnim news...

World Heritage Committee adopts controversial Jerusalem resolution

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee on Wednesday voted to approve a resolution criticized by Israel as ignoring Jewish...

Duterte wants US troops to leave Philippines in two years

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday he wants the withdrawal of all foreign troops from his...

UNICEF: South Sudan armed groups release 145 child soldiers

About 145 child soldiers were released Wednesday by armed groups in South Sudan, the UN children's fund UNICEF said...