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Number of executions carried out in Saudi Arabia 2007-2019

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has recently been the center of global outrage with the number of executions continuing to rise in spite of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman publicly stating in 2018 that the death sentence shall be meted out precariously. However, in 2019, the number of executions peaked to 184, the highest it has been in a decade.  

Global context

  According to a 2018 survey by Amnesty International, China was leading in the number of death penalties carried out, followed closely by Iran and Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, four percent of respondents from Saudi Arabia, the highest within the MENA region, opined that democracy is the application of religious edicts, in 2018. On the other hand, 73 percent of Saudi nationals also agreed that the world had become more dangerous as of November 2018.  

Human rights in Saudi Arabia

   With Saudi Arabia receiving much backlash for its alleged disregard for human rights, it is noteworthy that 61 percent of its citizens believe that a law protecting human rights is important. Simultaneously, 64 percent of respondents to a poll held in the kingdom agreed that human rights were important to create a fairer society in Saudi Arabia.

Number of executions carried out in Saudi Arabia from 2007 to June 2019

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Release date

February 2020


Saudi Arabia, MENA

Survey time period

2007 to June 2019

Supplementary notes

This statistic displays only data of confirmed and carried out executions by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Though both sources often estimate that the actual number of carried out executions was much higher.

The Most common method of execution in Saudi Arabia is through public beheading with a sword.
The death penalty for adultery is often executed through stoning.
In both cases the condemned are sedated before the execution.
There have been rare reports of some executions carried out by a firing squad.

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