Saudi executions exceed 100 in 2016
The number of executions in Saudi Arabia during the current year has exceeded 100 after the regime executed a man convicted of murder in Riyadh province.
The Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement on Friday that Saudi national Fahad Abdulhadi al-Dusari was executed after he was found guilty of shooting dead a fellow citizen, Mubarak bin Mohammed al-Dusari, following a dispute.
The statement, released by the official SPA news agency, did not elaborate on the method used for the execution, but most of the people sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with the sword.
The Friday execution brought to 101 the number of those executed by the Saudi regime this year.
The Arab kingdom executed a total of 158 people in 2015, a global high.
‘Cruel, inhuman punishment’
The alarming rate of executions in the kingdom has prompted Amnesty International to call for an “immediate” moratorium on the practice. Human Rights Watch has also called on the Saudi regime to abolish its “ghastly” beheadings.
“Saudi Arabia is speeding along in its dogged use of a cruel and inhuman punishment, mindless of justice and human rights,” said Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa head Philip Luther on Friday.
“At this rate, the Kingdom’s executioners will soon match or exceed the number of people they put to death last year,” he further said, adding that many of those executed were convicted in “deeply unfair trials, as a result of flaws in the justice system.”
The kingdom says most of the executions are related to murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape and apostasy. However, courts have also handed down death sentences to a number of activists over the past year only for criticizing the government on social media.
In the most stunning case of executions this year, Saudi Arabia executed Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr on January 2 along with 46 other people in defiance of international calls for the release of the prominent Shia cleric and other jailed political dissidents in the country.
Muslim clerics have also denounced Riyadh for executing suspects without giving them a chance to defend themselves, describing the Saudi authorities as uncivilized.