Saudi Arabia increases executions in 2015 more than 120%

On Monday Saudi Arabia executed Mugrib al-Thanyan for murder, bringing the total for 2015 up to 110, a sharp increase on the past few years. Executions had declined following the 2007 high water mark of 143, but 2015 looks to challenge that record total if the current pace continues.

The number of Saudis and foreigners put to death this year is up 126 percent from at least 87 during the whole of 2014, according to AFP tallies.

Under the conservative kingdom’s strict Islamic sharia legal code, drug trafficking, rape, murder, armed robbery and apostasy are all punishable by death.

The interior ministry has cited deterrence as a reason for carrying out the punishments.

Rights experts have raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom.

The increase parallels a similar increase in Iran, which is on pace to exceed the 1,000 mark this year. Some have cited increasing amounts of drug crimes being punishable by execution as a reason for the sharp increases in both countries.

[The Telegraph]