News Desk: Saudi Arabia, under the rule of de facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman or MBS, witnessed the highest number of executions, indicating that the past six years have been among the bloodiest in the Kingdom’s modern history.
The rate of executions carried out by Saudi Arabia has almost doubled under the rule of MBS. The increasing rate of execution also takes into account the total crackdown on the crown prince’s political opponents and zero tolerance for dissent.
Between 2015 and 2022, an average of 129 executions were carried out each year. The figure represents an 82 per cent increase in the period 2010-14. Last year, 147 people were executed.
A report prepared by two organisations, the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights and Reprieve, said Saudi’s application of the death penalty is riddled with discrimination and injustice.
Mohammed bin Salman had promised that executions would only be used for murder, but a high rate of capital punishment for men who were involved in non-violent crimes indicates that promises were never kept.
Mohammed bin Salman, who a US intelligence report said approved a journalist’s murder, has for several years shaken up the conservative oil superpower with economic, social and religious reforms since his meteoric rise to power.
MBS has overseen the most fundamental transformation in the modern history of the Gulf nation and sidelined all rivals after he became crown prince in June 2017. But he has also presided over a crackdown on critics, including prominent clerics, activists and royal elites, as well as faced a storm of condemnation over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in October 2018. The death penalty is seen as one of the new regime’s more visceral tools.