26, Apr 2018 | CJP Team
Human Rights Watch reported that Saudi Arabia has executed 48 people since 2018 began, with half of these executions punishments for “nonviolent drug crimes”. The organisation noted that many more people are also in death row in the country after being convicted of drug crimes. Calling the country’s criminal justice system “notoriously unfair,” HRW highlighted Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s recent interview with Time magazine, in which he said the country intends to reduce the number of executions, but said it would not restrict the punishment to just those found guilty of murder. According to HRW, most executions taking place in Saudi Arabia “that are not for murder are for non-violent drug crimes.” Saudi Arabia has executed nearly 600 people since the beginning of 2014, with more than 200 of these in drug cases. A significant majority of executions were for murder, but the punishment was also levied in cases incest, rape, terrorism, and “sorcery”. HRW said it had recorded many instances in which the death penalty was given after “unfair trials”.