Saudi Arabia executions skyrocket to 120 in first half of 2022
The European Saudi Organization for Human Rights (ESOHR) said the Gulf kingdom is on track to surpass its 2019 record number of executions carried out, pan-Arab news website Arabi 21 reported on Wednesday.
The new statistics fly in the face of commitments given by the Saudis to curb their use of the death penalty.
Last year saw 65 people executed in the kingdom - a drop from 2020 that ESOHR said was partially explained by coronavirus restrictions.
"If Saudi Arabia continues to execute people at the same rate during the second half of 2022, then it will exceed the record of 186 executions in 2019," the ESOHR said.
The ESOHR found breaches of fair trial standards in multiple cases.
The group, which faces barriers preventing it from assessing all cases, said this poses questions about the fairness of the process for death penalty trials in general.
It said it identified the use of torture and revealed how those accused do not have access to a lawyer before court sessions begin, making it harder for them to fight their case.
Some of those sentenced to death are facing execution for matters related to protesting and the free expression of views.
In March, Riyadh carried out a mass execution of 81 people in just a single day – a record in Saudi Arabia.
Members of the kingdom's Shia Muslim minority made up 41 - or half - of those put to death on that day.