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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Saudi Arabia - February 2023

Number of executions has increased under the reign of King Salman

A report by the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR) and by Reprieve published in February revealed a concerning increase in the number of executions in Saudi Arabia, with the past six years among the worst in the country’s modern history. Saudi Arabia’s use of the death penalty has drastically increased since King Salman and Crown Prince (and Prime Minister) Mohammed bin Salman came to power in 2015. The annual rate of executions has grown from an average of 70.8 executions per year between 2010-2014 to an average of 129.5 executions per year between 2015-2022 – an increase of 82 per cent. Despite extensive reforms and recent efforts to modernize the country, the new data show that international human rights law continues to be routinely violated in Saudi Arabia. The report notes that the death penalty is used by the new government to repress political opposition and silence dissidents.

Sources: Reprieve, Middle East Monitor, Deutsche Welle, British Broadcasting Corporation

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