Saudi Arabia executed two of its nationals on Thursday, bringing to 67 the number of Saudis and foreigners executed in the kingdom this year despite activists’ concerns.
Sulaiman al-Jahni, convicted of trafficking amphetamines, was executed in the northern region of Jawf, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. Authorities in the east separately beheaded Faisal al-Utaibi, who was convicted of murder.
The surge of executions in the kingdom this year compares with 87 death sentences carried out in all of 2014, according to AFP tallies. Drug trafficking, rape, murder, apostasy and armed robbery are all punishable by death under the kingdom’s version of Islamic law.
Amnesty International’s 2014 global report on the death penalty ranks Saudi Arabia among the top five executioners in the world. The interior ministry has cited deterrence as a reason for carrying out the punishment.