Saudi executions up sharply under King Salman, MBS: report
Executions in Saudi Arabia have nearly doubled under King Salman and his son, de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman, activist groups said yesterday, detailing cases of torture and other human rights violations.
Capital punishment has soared from an average of 70.8 executions a year from 2010 to 2014, to 129.5 a year since King Salman took power in 2015, according to a report by Reprieve and the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR).
More than 1,000 death sentences have been carried out under the current leadership, the NGOs said, after verifying official announcements with investigations and interviews with lawyers, family members and activists.
Saudi Arabia executed 147 people last year, the report said, a figure confirmed by an AFP tally compiled from government announcements.
Saudi Arabia, which is one of the world's leading executioners, announced 81 executions in a single day last March it said were for terrorism-related offences.
The country has undergone rapid social reforms in recent years but activists accuse Crown Prince Mohammed of also overseeing a harsh crackdown on critics.
"Every data point in this report is a human life taken," said Reprieve director Maya Foa.