A disturbing milestone reached in Saudi Arabia – the next requires just one more execution

By Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve
4 October 2017


In Saudi Arabia, a disturbing milestone has been reached – the authorities carried out their 100th execution of 2017. It is unlikely to be the last. Almost 60 people have been put to death in the last three months alone, marking a significant increase in the rate of executions. At current rates, the Kingdom could match the record rates seen in 2015, when 157 people were executed.

A second milestone requires just one more execution. The authorities have executed 499 people since 2014 – the 500th could happen by the end of this week.

These executions are part of a campaign of repression across the country, with peaceful protestors and innocent children being executed at a horrifying rate.

There are currently 17 young protestors facing imminent execution in Saudi Arabia.

Among these are Ali al-Nimr, who was a child of just 17 when he was arrested for attending a protest and later sentenced to ‘crucifixion’.

Munir al-Adam who was rendered partially deaf as a result of the torture he suffered at the hands of the police when he was arrested at age 17 and sentenced to death.

And Mujtaba al-Sweikat who was at the airport on his way to study in the United States when he was arrested at aged just 17. These three and many others like them are at risk of imminent execution.

Talk of reform and opening up to the world is a smokescreen to cover up the terrible human rights abuses that are being inflicted daily. Responsible leaders in Europe, the United States and around the world need to use their close ties to the Saudi Royal family to demand an end to this unacceptable brutality.