Saudi execution rate triples; ‘terrorism’ deterrent?

Saudi execution rate triples; ‘terrorism’ deterrent?

[Ed. – Rights watchers do well to be skeptical — but the Saudis may not be lying here.  The drug trade is connected to terrorism all over the world, including the Middle East and the Horn of Africa.  Going after drug criminals could indeed be a way of discouraging them from dealing with or funding anti-regime terrorists.  The real issue isn’t so much the reason for conviction as the proportionality of the punishment.]

The rate of executions in Saudi Arabia has reached “unprecedented” levels, a charity has warned, as the kingdom killed four criminals in two days on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Amnesty International said the latest state-sanctioned deaths took its tally of executions for the year so far in Saudi Arabia to 39 – almost three times the equivalent number for this time last year.

Local media say the Saudi authorities have attempted to hail the killings as an example of the government’s commitment to “maintaining security and realising justice”, a crackdown in response to the rise of extremism and the threat of Isis. …

Amnesty’s Saudi Arabia researcher Sevag Kechichian said…“Since the beginning of the year we’ve seen an unprecedented rate of executions in the country… “Despite claims sometimes made by the authorities about carrying out executions to deter terrorism and other violence in the kingdom, almost half of this year’s executions have actually been for non-violent drugs-related offences.”

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