SHAFAQNA – Human Rights Organization, Amnesty International, has expressed its deep concerns over a surge in executions carried out by Saudi in the first six months of 2016.
The London-based watchdog says that the kingdom carried out at least 158 death sentences last year, making it the third most prolific executioner.
This year, at least 94 people have been executed so far, “higher than at the same point last year,” Amnesty said.
If executions continue at the same pace, “Saudi Arabia will have put to death more than 100 people in the first six months of this year,” the human rights group warned.
“Executions in Saudi Arabia have been surging dramatically for two years now and this appalling trend shows no sign of slowing,” said Amnesty’s MENA deputy director James Lynch.
Lynch spoke of “pervasive flaws” in the kingdom’s justice system “which mean that it is entirely routine for people to be sentenced to death after grossly unfair trials.”
While, murder and drug trafficking cases account for many of Saudi executions, political prisoners were also put to death.
The Saudi regime executed prominent Islamic scholar Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr on January 2, defying international calls to stop the execution and release him. The execution sparked widespread international condemnations and protests across the world.
His nephew, Ali al-Nimr, who was arrested with two others while they were still minors, is currently on death row.