RIYADH – Arab Saudi on Saturday (4/3/2023), sentence to death two men. One person was convicted of attempting to blow up an oil facility. This brings the number of executions this year to six, state media reported.
“The second man was convicted of forcibly committing an “obscene act of sodomy” on a minor,” the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The second execution took place in the western Mecca region, coming three days after authorities in the southwestern region of Baha executed four men accused of kidnapping and killing another man.
It was the first case of the death penalty this year in the kingdom, which executed 147 people last year – more than double 2021’s figure of 69, according to an AFP tally.
Last year’s numbers included 81 people executed for terrorism-related offenses in a single day in March 2022, an event that sparked international outcry.
“The executions on Saturday demonstrated the government’s desire to establish security and achieve justice and should serve as a warning to other would-be offenders,” the SPA report continued, citing the Saudi Interior Ministry.
Still according to SPA, the man who tried to attack the oil facility also shot and killed a member of the security forces and opened fire on the others. SPA did not say when the attack took place.
More than 1,000 death sentences have been carried out since King Salman took power in 2015, according to a report published earlier this year by Reprieve and the European-Saudi Human Rights Organization (ESOHR).
That figure jumped from an average of 70.8 executions a year from 2010 to 2014, to 129.5 executions a year since 2015, the report said. Last year saw the resumption of executions for drug crimes, ending a moratorium that lasted nearly three years.
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