Saudi Arabia reaches ‘frightening’ new milestone as 70th execution is carried out in 2016

The Saudi Arabia is executing its citizens at a “frightening” rate, as reports emerge that the government just killed it 70th prisoner in 2016.

Advocacy groups who monitor the death penalty worldwide, said that the total number of this year’s beheadings are almost half of 2015’s and at its highest level in 20 years. While the Saudi government does not formerly release the annual number of executions, they do announce individual deaths via the state’s official news agency SPA throughout the year.

“The death penalty is always cruel and unnecessary, but the Saudi justice system lacks evens the basics of a fair trial system and it’s truly frightening that its courts are sentencing so many people to death,” Amnesty International UK’s Head of Policy and Government Affairs Allan Hogarth told the Independent.”

“With death sentences imposed after deeply unfair — and sometimes secret — proceedings, with defendants often denied a lawyer, and with courts regularly convicting people on the basis of ‘confessions’ extracted under torture, Saudi Arabia is making a mockery of justice and dozens of people are paying with their lives.”

“It’s time that ‘strategic allies’ like the UK started speaking out about this shocking state of affairs. For too long Downing Street has bent over backwards to avoid ‘offending’ the Saudi royals. Saudi Arabia’s human rights record is utterly appalling and the UK government should say so.”

The Saudi government came under strict scrutiny after 47 people were executed for “terrorism offenses” in just one day earlier in the year. A prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, was among those killed.

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