Saudi Arabia Executes 134 People So Far This Year

Published September 16th, 2019 - 10:57 GMT
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Twitter)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Twitter)
Sentencing someone under the age of 18 to death is illegal under international law.

Saudi Arabia has already executed 134 people so far this year, six of whom were children when they were arrested, a new report has revealed. 

The shocking figures, given at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, come despite Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's pledge to reduce the use of the death penalty.

In 2018, the country killed 149 people, with 46 left on death row by the end of the year. 

According to The Death Penalty Project's report many of the 46 have now been killed as the country's recourse to executions has 'intensified alarmingly' in recent months. 

At least another 24 people, including three children, are at imminent risk, according to the human rights organisation.  

Sentencing someone under the age of 18 to death is illegal under international law.

Brutal Saudi killing methods include beheading and crucifixion, with some victims' mutilated corpses being left on display for extended periods of time rather than buried with dignity. 

The Death Penalty Project spoke of one mass killing in April this year where 37 men were put to death in public. 

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The organisation claims Saudi Arabia are abusing human rights and performing 'illegal and arbitrary executions'. 

They added that the abuses have been 'exacerbated by the systematic torture of detainees and grossly unfair trials culminating in death sentences'.

Two of those killed were teenagers Abdulkareem al-Hawaj and Mujtaba al-Sweikat, who were just 16 and 17 at the time of their arrests. 

Al-Hawaj was arrested for attending an anti-government protest when he was 16 and was convicted of being a 'terrorist'. 

He was beheaded alongside 36 other men. 

Al-Sweikat was also arrested for attending an anti-government protest and was tortured into confessing to 'crimes against the state', according to human rights charities.

The report claimed that al-Sweikat was held in pre-trial detention without charge for three years, and was subjected to torture by al-Mabahith officers including beatings, foot whipping, and cigarette burns.

At least 58 of those killed this year were foreign nationals that were accused of spreading Shia Islam - which is a crime in the Sunni arab state.

Bin Salman spoke last year about Saudi's death penalty rates and pledged to 'reduce it big time' in an interview with Time Magazine.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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