Saudi executions at unprecedented rate: Amnesty

This file photo shows the beheading of a man in Saudi Arabia.

This file photo shows the beheading of a man in Saudi Arabia.

Amnesty International says Saudi Arabia has carried out an unprecedented number of executions since the start of the year.

The Britain-based rights group released the report on Tuesday.

“The current rate… has been truly unprecedented,” Amnesty’s Saudi Arabia researcher Sevag Kechichian said. “It is impossible to tell what exactly is driving these numbers.”

Riyadh has executed 38 people this year so far, a figure about three times the number during the same period in 2014.

Figures show that after Saudi Arabia carried out 27 executions in 2010, the number rose to about 80 the following years. Last year 87 executions were recorded.

Saudi authorities say the beheadings reveal the Saudi government’s commitment to “maintaining security and realizing justice.”

However, the rights group said it is unrealistic to assume the rise in the executions is an attempt to counter violence as nearly half of the executions were over drug-related crimes.

Concern has been on the rise about the increasing number of executions in Saudi Arabia.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under the Saudi rule.

Riyadh has also come under pressure for its violation of human rights, including women’s rights.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that prohibits women from driving. The ban is based on a fatwa (religious order) imposed by the country’s Wahhabi clerics. If women get behind the wheel in the kingdom, they may be arrested, sent to court and even flogged.

By Press TV