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Saudi Arabia executes 7 men in largest execution since 2022

In this file picture, a Saudi Arabian executioner shows off his sword. (Photo via Twitter)

Saudi Arabia has executed seven men in the largest execution in years, Saudi authorities have announced.

The execution on Tuesday marks the highest single-day figure since 81 were put to death in March 2022.

The men were convicted of "acts of treason that threaten the country’s stability and security by creating and financing terrorist organizations and entities," reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), citing the Saudi Interior Ministry.

The SPA announced the names of the men which indicated they were Saudi. However, the exact nationalities of the seven individuals were not revealed.

So far Riyadh has executed 31 people this year. At least 172 people were executed in 2023, according to rights groups monitoring executions in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia executed 196 people in 2022, reported Amnesty International.

The international rights groups emphasized that the actual number of people put to death in the country is unknown because Saudi authorities do not provide any information about capital trials and keep them shrouded in secrecy.

The European-Saudi Organization for Human Rights (ESOHR) and UK-based Reprieve told Middle East Eye that there were no public records or media reports of any of the cases of the men executed on Tuesday.

"It appears that these men were tried, convicted, sentenced and executed in complete secrecy," said Jeed Basyouni, who leads Reprieve's work in the Middle East and North Africa.

According to a new report by Reprieve and the European Saudi Organization for Human Rights (ESOHR), published last year, at least 1,243 people were executed between 2010 and 2021.

The report revealed that the six bloodiest years of executions in Saudi Arabia’s recent history (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022) have all occurred under the leadership of Mohammed bin Salman as the country’s crown prince and de facto ruler and his father.

It highlighted that there was an average of 129.5 executions per year from 2015 to 2022, marking an increase of 82%.

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