Five individuals were executed in Saudi Arabia for terrorism, the largest this year.
According to state media, Saudi Arabia has executed five individuals who were found guilty of carrying out a fatal attack on a place of worship. This marks the largest group execution of the year. Among the five men were four Saudi nationals and one Egyptian citizen. They had faced trial for an assault that resulted in the deaths of five individuals and left numerous others injured. The statement from the interior ministry, which was published by the official Saudi Press Agency, did not provide specific details regarding the timing of the attack or the particular type of house of worship that was targeted.
The specific method of execution was also not disclosed, although Saudi Arabia has previously employed beheadings as a means of carrying out capital punishment. These latest executions bring the total number of individuals put to death in Saudi Arabia to 68 this year. Since early May, more than 20 executions have been carried out for offences related to terrorism, as per reports.
In late May, two Bahraini nationals convicted of terrorism were also executed. Amnesty International had raised concerns at the time, highlighting that the case relied heavily on confessions obtained through torture.
In the previous year, Saudi Arabia executed a total of 147 people, more than double the figure of 69 recorded in 2021, according to the news agency AFP. Among the 2022 executions, 81 individuals were executed on a single day in March for terrorism-related offences.
These recent surges in executions within Saudi Arabia coincide with the kingdom’s efforts to improve its global image through significant social and economic transformations initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is King Salman’s son and the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. The Crown Prince had previously stated that the death penalty had been largely abolished in the country, with the exception of cases involving murder or individuals who pose a significant threat to the lives of many people.