Saudi Arabia: “Killing in the Name of Justice”
From August 2014 to August 2015, Saudi Arabia executed at least 175 persons, carrying out an average of one execution every 2 days.
Despite the lack of transparency and the country’s tough conditions for conducting human rights’ research, Amnesty International collected data and testimonies from over 20 people on death row and the picture they drew is alarming.
Saudi Arabia continues to apply the death penalty for a great number of non-lethal crimes (drug-related crimes, armed robbery, kidnapping, rape), and for not recognized criminal offences (apostasy, adultery, witchcraft, sorcery). In so doing, the country does not respect international laws’ restrictions and safeguards limiting the scope of death penalty to the “most serious crimes”.
Saudi Arabia has repeatedly and increasingly violated international law by executing persons convicted for drug-related crimes. Over the past 5 years, a steady rise in executions for drug offences has been registered and capital punishments for drug crimes now amount to 47% of the total number of executions recorded in the years 2014 and in 2015, up to June.