Saudi executes man over weapons training abroad

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 23 2023 10:53 PM

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday executed a man convicted of receiving weapons training in an unidentified "enemy country", state media reported, the latest in a spate of death penalty cases involving terrorism.

Since May 2, the Gulf kingdom has executed seven terrorism convicts, all but one in the eastern region where the Shiite minority is concentrated.

There have been 36 executions so far this year, according to an AFP tally based on state media reports.

In 2022, Saudi Arabia executed 147 people in total -- more than double the 2021 figure of 69, the AFP tally showed.

The figure for 2022 included 81 people executed on a single day in March of that year for terrorism-related offences, an event that sparked an international outcry.

The man executed on Tuesday, a Saudi national, "joined one of the camps" of the "enemy country", where he "trained in weapons and bombs" before returning "to carry out his terrorist plan to breach the security of the kingdom", the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

The execution came one day after three Saudi nationals convicted of terrorism were put to death in the east, according to SPA.

They were also convicted of joining a camp "outside the kingdom" and receiving weapons training there, SPA said.

Two of the men were trained on how to make and defuse bombs, it said.

More than 1,000 death sentences have been implemented since King Salman assumed power in 2015, according to a report published earlier this year by Reprieve and the European-Saudi Organisation for Human Rights.