The total number of people executed in the Gulf kingdom so far this year has reached 107.
Saudi Arabia on Wednesday beheaded two of its nationals for murder and a third for drug trafficking, bringing to 107 the total number of executions this year, according to the interior ministry.
Turki al-Diaini, convicted of shooting dead another Saudi, was put to death in Riyadh, while Sharie al-Jineibi was executed in southwestern Asir region for a shooting death. The third man, Mansour al-Roali, was beheaded in the northwestern region of Jawf for trafficking in amphetamines.
Authorities resumed executions last week after a pause for Ramzan and the Eid ul-Fitr holiday that followed it from July 17.
The number of locals and foreigners put to death this year is up 123 percent from 87 during the whole of 2014, according to AFP tallies. But this year’s figure is below the record 192 that human rights group Amnesty International said took place in 1995.
Human Rights Watch has accused Saudi authorities of waging a “campaign of death” by executing more people in the first six months of this year than in all of last year. Echoing the concerns of other activists, the New York-based group said it had documented “due process violations” in the legal system that make it difficult for defendants to get fair trials even in capital cases.
Under the conservative kingdom’s Islamic shariah legal code, drug trafficking, rape, murder, armed robbery and apostasy are all punishable by death. The interior ministry has cited deterrence as a reason for carrying out the punishment. It has also talked of “the physical and social harm” caused by drugs.