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 recognized as “most serious” by international law and to which the death penalty could be applied. This includes drug trafficking, state security, sexual offenses, and sorcery.
Human rights groups fear that the kingdom’s human rights record will continue to be overlooked by the international community in favor of geopolitical and economic interests.