Saudi authorities have executed a Nigerian man after convicting him of murdering a police officer, AFP reports. It was the 95th execution of the year in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom, which imposes the death penalty for offences including murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape and apostasy. The surge in executions has drawn concern from human rights groups.
Fahd Houssawi was executed on Sunday, May 29 in the western city of Taif, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency. He had been found guilty of strangling a policeman and beating him to death, the ministry said.
Houssawi had knocked the man to the ground before hitting his head repeatedly into the ground, beating him to death. He then injured another man in his attempt to escape.
Amnesty International has warned that at the current rate Saudi Arabia could see more than 100 executions in the first half of 2016.
The London-based watchdog said the kingdom carried out at least 158 death sentences last year, making it the third most prolific executioner after Iran and Pakistan. Its figures do not include secretive China.
The executions this year are higher than at the same point last year, Amnesty said.
Murder and drug trafficking cases account for the majority of Saudi executions, although 47 people were put to death for “terrorism” offences on a single day in January.