Saudi Arabia beheaded three Yemenis for drug trafficking on Wednesday, bringing to 83 the number of executions in little more than four months, compared with 87 all of last year.
The condemned men, Eisa Ali Ahmed Hajri, Mohammed Ali Saifi and Majid Gasim al-Ahdal, were convicted of trying to smuggle hashish into the kingdom, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. They were executed in Jazan province, which borders Yemen.
The ministry has cited deterrence as a reason for its use of the death penalty despite criticism from human rights watchdogs. London-based Amnesty International ranked Saudi Arabia among the world’s top three executioners of 2014.
On a visit to Riyadh this month, French President Francois Hollande said capital punishment “should be banned,” and his country is campaigning around the world for its abolition.
Drug trafficking, rape, murder, apostasy and armed robbery are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s strict version of Islamic law.