Saudi Arabia systematically uses the death penalty to crush opposition figures, Amnesty International has said, noting that the country's Public Prosecution is planning to execute more activists.
Saudi's Public Prosecution is planning more executions of those who call for freedom of expression, the rights group said, noting that prominent preacher Sheikh Salman Al-Owdeh is one of those targeted for execution, Al-Sharq reported yesterday.
According to Amnesty, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq and Iran topped its list of countries which carry out executions, which has increased 75 per cent compared to last year. Four new activists are facing the death penalty in Saudi Arabia over their participation in protests calling for reform in the country's Eastern Province.
Saudi Arabia has carried out a new campaign against activists, bringing the number of those in prison to 14. All of these activists are male, with the exception of two females, one of whom is pregnant. Two of these latest prisoners hold US passports. Though most are not prominent opposition figures, they have expressed their support for women's rights and other reforms which has led to their detention.
Many prisoners inside Saudi facilities were arrested without charge but have since faced extortion, with some asked to pass part of their properties to the Kingdom or face long prison terms.
Some of these prisoners are members of the Saudi royal family, such as multi-billionaire businessman Al-Walid Bin Talal who was released after conceding a portion of his property to the Kingdom.