Saudi Arabia has executed its 99th person this year, continuing the trend to more death penalties yearly in the Kingdom, The Independent reports.
The conservative country, which publicly beheads citizens and foreigners for a variety of crimes, has reportedly executed more people than this time last year by reaching almost 100 this month.
Accused murderer Hassan bin Mubarak al-Amri was the 99th person to be executed in the state-sanctioned punishment, which is usually performed with a sword.
Sara Hashah, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa spokesperson, said Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran were responsible for 90 per cent of all recorded executions globally and were “out of step” with the rest of the world.
“In Saudi Arabia, where people are routinely sentenced to death after grossly unfair trials, we have seen a dramatic surge in the number of executions in the past two years which has shown no sign of abating in 2016,” she told The Independent.
“This clearly demonstrates that Saudi Arabia’s authorities are increasingly out of step with a global trend of states moving away from the death penalty.
“Saudi Arabia’s authorities must end their reliance on this cruel, inhuman and degrading form of punishment immediately.”
The number of death sentences in the Kingdom was swelled by the 47 people executed on January 2 on charges of Al Qaeda-related terrorist activity. The execution of a Shia cleric among them provoked international condemnation and the cutting-off of diplomatic ties between Riyadh and Tehran.
Last year was already a record-high for executions in Saudi Arabia, with 158 people sentenced to death in total compared to 90 in 2014.