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Saudi Arabia executed record number of people in 2019 - Amnesty



Saudi Arabia executed a record 184 people last year, according to Amnesty International, which said it was the highest number the rights organisation has ever recorded in a single year in the country.



In its 2019 global review of the death penalty published on Tuesday, Amnesty reported Saudi Arabia stepped up its use of the death penalty even as the rest of the world saw a decline in executions, including in the Asia-Pacific region.

Saudi Arabia executed 178 men and six women in 2019, just over half of whom were foreign nationals. The figure was 149 in 2018.



The majority of executions were for drug-related offences and murder.

"Saudi Arabia's growing use of the death penalty, including as a weapon against political dissidents, is an alarming development," Clare Algar, Amnesty International's Senior Director for Research, Advocacy and Policy, said.



Only 20 countries are responsible for all known executions worldwide.

Iran remained the world's second-most prolific executioner after China, where the exact number of people put to death remains a state secret. The number of executions nearly doubled in Iraq, the report added.



Global executions decreased for the fourth consecutive year to at least 657 in 2019 from at least 690 during the previous year - the lowest recorded figure of the past decade.

The top five executing countries in 2019 were: China (1000s), Iran (at least 251), Saudi Arabia (184), Iraq (at least 100) and Egypt (at least 32). Aljazeera

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