Saudi Arabia executed two more people on Monday, bringing the number of executions the kingdom has carried out to 100 so far this year alone. They are just 92 executions short of breaking their 1995 record.
Syrian Ismael al-Tawm was beheaded in the northern region of Jawf for smuggling illegal amphetamine pills into the kingdom, according to Lebanon’s The Daily Star. Rami al-Khaldi was beheaded in the western province of Taef after being convicted of murder for stabbing a fellow Saudi to death.
The kingdom treats drug and murder offenses equally, and they account for the crux of executions there. The country has already surpassed the number of last year’s executions by ten.
Amnesty views the use of the death penalty for anything other than the “most serious crimes,” such as premeditated murder, as a direct violation of international law, The Daily Star notes.
Last week, despite international pleas, the kingdom upheld its extreme sentencing of ten years in prison and 1,000 blood-curdling lashes as punishment for liberal blogger Raif Badawi, 31, on charges of insulting the religion of Islam.
Saudi Arabia recently put out “wanted” ads for executioners, foreshadowing the ever-increasing rise in beheadings there, a move which appears to be a facet of King Salman’s interpretation of Sharia Law, more extreme than that of his predecessor, the late King Abdullah.