The largest mass execution of the year took place in Saudi Arabia on Monday when five suspects convicted of carrying out a fatal attack on a house of worship were executed.
The incident took place in the east of the kingdom, which is where most of Saudi Arabia’s oil is produced and where the majority of the country’s Shiite minority resides, and the five individuals, four Saudis and one Egyptian, were all found guilty.
The date of the incident or the type of house of worship that was attacked were not mentioned in a statement from the interior ministry that was distributed by the official Saudi Press Agency.
According to the state-run media, one guy was decapitated while the others were put to death in different ways.
This pushed the total number of executions carried out by Saudi Arabia—a country frequently criticized by rights organizations for its widespread use of the death penalty—to 68.
Since early May, there have been more than 20 executions for crimes connected to terrorism, with the bulk occurring in the eastern province.
Two Bahrainis found guilty of terrorism were executed by the government in late May in a case Amnesty International claimed was based on “confessions obtained under torture.”
According to an AFP count, Saudi Arabia murdered 147 individuals in total last year, more than twice the 69 executions it carried out in 2021.
The number for 2022 included 81 persons who were killed for crimes connected to terrorism on a single day in March of that year, an act that generated an international outcry.
According to a study released earlier this year by Reprieve and the European-Saudi Organisation for Human Rights, more than 1,000 death sentences have been carried out since King Salman came to power in 2015.
The recent increase of executions in Saudi Arabia coincides with the country’s efforts to improve public perception through extensive social and economic reforms as part of its “Vision 2030” reform plan. Saudi Arabia is recognized for its stringent application of Islamic sharia law.