Saudi Arabia Executes 17 People With Swords In 12 Days, Using World Cup As Cover


In the last 12 days, Saudi Arabia has reportedly executed 17 people accused of drug and contraband offences, a top UN official said on Tuesday.

With the latest execution carried out on 10 November, this takes the total number of people executed this year in the kingdom to 144, exceeding those of 2020 and 2021 combined.

UN human rights office spokesperson Elizabeth Throssell at a press conference in Geneva said this is a record high of total capital punishments in Saudi Arabia in a year. 

She accused Saudi Arabia of using the World Cup as a cover-up, despite the nation’s leaders vowing not to use the death penalty on non-violent crimes.

Describing the executions as “deeply regrettable,” Throssell said among those killed are four Syrians, three Pakistanis, three Jordanians, and seven Saudis.

Saudi Arabia carries out most of its executions by beheading with swords.

In 2018, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had said that his administration had tried to “minimise” capital punishment with only those found guilty of murder or manslaughter being subject to capital punishment.

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