Saudi Arabia is one of the countries with the world’s highest rates of execution in the past. While the number has lowered down to reportedly just 26 but in 2015 and in 2016, the number of executions that took place was said to be over 150.
The Human Rights Watch, however, says that Saudi Arabia had carried out nearly 600 executions since the beginning of 2014, a third of which were drug cases. Convicts are said to be put to death for even light offenses who are beheaded using a sword. Suspects convicted of terrorism, homicide, rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking face the death penalty, and the punishment is usually derived from Islamic law, “Shariaa” that Saudi Arabia follows.
One can be put to death for a number of lethal/ non-lethal crimes which include witchcraft and wizardry. Reports have also surfaced of deaths by shooting or stoning, the most common method of execution being the beheadings, occasionally followed by crucifixion. For example, in 2018, a Myanmar man who stabbed a woman to death was crucified publicly.
The number of executions significantly increased in 2015 and some attribute it to the instability in the region whereby Saudi Arabia demonstrates that they are not afraid of doling out capital punishment.
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