NEWS (4/14/20) — Saudi Arabia: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has carried out its 800th execution under the five-year reign of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, according to reports by the human rights groups European-Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR) and Reprieve. The groups say the execution rate is nearly double the rate in the five years preceding Salman’s assumption of leadership in the Kingdom in 2015. From 2009 to 2014, Saudi Arabia carried out a total of 423 executions.

The 185 executions in Saudi Arabia in 2019 were the most in any calendar year since Reprieve and ESOHR began tracking executions in the Kingdom. They included the April 23, 2019 mass execution of 37 people in which six prisoners who were juveniles or children who had participated in pro-democracy activities were put to death. At least 13 more prisoners remain on Saudi Arabia’s death row for alleged offenses committed as juveniles.

“For all the rhetoric of reform and modernisation, Saudi Arabia is still a country where speaking out against the King can get you killed,” said Reprieve Director Maya Foa in a written statement to the media.