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 Executions double in Saudi Arabia infographic
Graphic shows number of executions in Saudi Arabia since 2010 and crimes attracting death penalty.


Executions double in Saudi Arabia

By Phil Bainbridge

February 1, 2023 - The number of people executed in Saudi Arabia has doubled for the second consecutive year and risen on average 82% since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his father King Salman came to power.

The number of executions annually has risen from an average of 70.8 between 2010-2014, to 129.5 per year since 2015, with at least 147 people executed in 2022, 81 of them on a single day, up from 67 in 2021.

While the majority are for murder, a substantial proportion are for non-lethal crimes which are not recognised as “most serious” by international law and to which the death penalty could be applied. This includes drug trafficking, state security, sexual offences and sorcery.

Human rights groups fear that the kingdom’s human rights record will continue to be overlooked by the international community in favour of geopolitical and economic interests.

PUBLISHED: 01/02/2023; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images