The Government of Saudi Arabia executed 122 people in the first half of 2019, well over doubling the number of executions carried out in the same period in 2018. This steep rise in executions comes 14 months since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman promised in April 2018 to reduce the death penalty to the minimum possible level, claiming that the necessary procedures required a little more than a year’s work, however, all indicators confirm the increasing death penalty during this period and in the absence of any indicators supporting his promise. The Crown Prince’s promise should have coincided with stopping the executions until the completion of the alleged proceedings, but instead of that, 221 have been executed from his promise in April 2018 to the first half of 2019.
Saudi Arabia executed six minors, 58 who were not Saudi nationals, three of which were women, 51 faced drug charges that are not considered the most serious charge in international law, and many others.
On 23 April, 37 citizens were executed with no charges, only through participating in demonstrations and spreading the Shia faith.
The European Saudi Organization for Human Rights (ESOHR) believes that the execution numbers in Saudi Arabia confirms that the current era under the chairmanship of King Salman and his son Mohammed bin Salman is the bloodiest yet.
A total of 714 individuals have been executed since King Salman came to power in January 2015.