(Photo Credit : Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)
According to an AFP report, Saudi authorities have executed twice as many people in 2022 compared to the total figures for 2021.
On 18 November, The official Saudi Press Agency announced the execution of a Jordanian national for illegally trafficking amphetamine, increasing the total number of executions in 2022 to 138, according to AFP.
In 2021, Saudi Arabia executed 69 inmates, while in 2019 the country carried out 187 executions.
According to Al-Masirah news, Saudi Arabia announced the execution of two Pakistanis convicted of heroin trafficking in 2022, the first application of capital punishment for a drug-related crime in three years.
Amnesty International condemned the resumption of capital punishment for drug-related offenses, calling it a setback to the moratorium the country had announced in January 2021.
The Saudi authorities do not specify the method used to apply the death penalty, but the kingdom generally resorts to the beheading of those charged with capital punishment.
In March, Saudi Arabia executed 81 people in a single day, and all of the victims were convicted of “terrorism-related” crimes.
Rights groups later revealed that 41 of those executed that day came from Qatif, a region populated by the kingdom’s Shia Muslim minority. Among the dead were also seven Yemenis and one Syrian.
At least 58 of the victims were executed for nonlethal offenses, and 41 were executed for participation in anti-government protests. None of the bodies were returned to the families.
At the time, Riyadh claimed the executions were carried out on convicts who held “deviant beliefs, pledging allegiance to foreign organizations.”
International NGOs such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) have criticized the Saudi judicial system for its injustice and lack of due process.
“People accused of crimes, including children, commonly face systematic violations of due process and fair trial rights, including arbitrary arrest,” says an HRW report from March 2022.