RIYADH, July 25, (AFP): Saudi Arabia on Monday executed two convicted murderers, the interior ministry said, raising to 107 the number of death sentences carried out in the kingdom this year. Fahd al-Ishan was convicted of stabbing to death another Saudi citizen, the ministry said in a statement on the official SPA news agency. He was executed in the northern Jawf region.
Authorities executed another Saudi citizen, Mohammed al-Shahrani, in the southwestern region of Assir after he was convicted of shooting dead another Saudi national, the ministry said in another statement. The kingdom on Sunday carried out the death penalty against four citizens convicted of murder. Most people executed are beheaded with a sword. Saudi Arabia’s growing use of the death penalty has prompted Amnesty International to call for an “immediate” moratorium on the practice.
The kingdom imposes the death penalty for offences including murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape and apostasy. The London-based watchdog’s Middle East and North Africa head Philip Luther has warned that “at this rate, the Kingdom’s executioners will soon match or exceed the number of people they put to death last year.”
Amnesty says the kingdom carried out at least 158 death sentences in 2015, making it the third most prolific executioner after Iran and Pakistan. Amnesty’s figures do not include secretive China. Murder and drug trafficking cases account for the majority of Saudi executions, although 47 people were put to death for “terrorism” offences on a single day in January.