It looks like Saudi Arabia is going to double its beheading count again this year

Saudi Arabia has executed 82 people so far this year, putting it on course to double the number of executions carried out in 2015. The figure was uncovered by human rights organisation Reprieve who say Saudi’s current pace of executions is
record-breaking.
If Saudi doesn’t slow down with its beheading spree, Reprieve estimates that they will kill 320 prisoners this year. If this happens it will continue a recent trend for the country to double the number of prisoners it kills each year. In 2015 it executed 158 and in 2014 it executed 88.

The figures from Reprieve come just a week after Defence Secretary Michael Fallon went to Saudi Arabia and met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, the man who runs the Saudi Interior Ministry, which is responsible for carrying out the beheadings. Here’s the statement the Ministry of Defence put out after Fallon’s meetings:

During these talks he [Fallon] reiterated the importance of working together to deal with global threats, including countering the poisonous ideology of Daesh [ISIS], and regional instability.

There are currently three men in Saudi Arabia who have been sentenced to death for crimes they are alleged to have committed before they became adults. They are Dawoud al Marhoon, Ali al Nimr and Abdullah al Zaher — all of them were found guilty of alleged crimes relating to protests calling for reform in Saudi.

Following a report in the Independent about these three cases, the MOD put out a statement saying they have the “expectation” that the three men won’t be executed.

The Defence Secretary visited Saudi Arabia to discuss a range of regional issues. The UK is opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances and we make our views well known to Saudi Arabia. We have raised these particular cases at the highest levels and will continue to do so. Our expectation remains that the three individuals will not be executed.

Many of the people who have recently been executed by Saudi Arabia took part in protests against the government and were convicted of terrorism offences.

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