RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia on Tuesday executed seven death row inmates, who had been convicted of murder and drug trafficking, state media reported.
The ultra-conservative kingdom has one of the world’s highest rates of execution, with suspects convicted of terrorism, homicide, rape, armed robbery, and drug trafficking all facing the death penalty.
Two Saudi Arabian citizens and three nationals of Chad were executed after being sentenced to death for the kidnapping and murder of a Pakistani security guard, with the alleged intent of robbing the warehouse he was guarding, according to the state-run SPA agency.
Another Saudi Arabian was executed for murder after setting a man on fire, SPA reported.
A Lebanese national was executed for attempting to smuggle captagon into the kingdom, SPA said. Captagon, a drug popular among fighters in war zones, usually blends amphetamines, caffeine, and other substances in pill form.
Tuesday’s executions bring to 73 the total number of people put to death in the kingdom this year, according to a tally by AFP.
Saudi Arabia had the third-highest execution rate in the world in 2017, after China and Iran, according to Amnesty International.
Rights experts have repeatedly raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom, governed under a strict form of Islamic law. The government says the death penalty is a deterrent for further crime.
In April, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, next in line to the throne, suggested the kingdom would consider changing the penalty from death to life in certain cases, except murder, in an interview with Time Magazine.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.