Saudi Arabia Curbs Death Penalty in Move to Soften Image

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—Saudi Arabia explained Monday it had imposed a moratorium on funds punishment for drug-connected offenses that led to an 85% reduction in executions, as the conservative Muslim kingdom seeks to soften its image to entice Western travellers and international expenditure.

The state-backed Human Legal rights Fee explained 27 executions ended up recorded in 2020. That is down from 184 the calendar year right before, in accordance to legal rights watchdog Amnesty Global, when Saudi Arabia trailed only China and Iran globally.

The commission declined to deliver additional details about the change that had gone into result final calendar year.

The inside ministry did not right away reply to a ask for for comment. Official Saudi bulletins show no drug-connected executions since January 2020, in accordance to New York-based mostly Human Legal rights Check out.

The transfer arrives as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman appeals to Western travellers and international buyers place off by Saudi Arabia’s name as a bastion of ultraconservative social norms enforced by religious law enforcement. Beheadings and crucifixions ended up at the time commonplace in public squares, including in the middle of Riyadh, the funds.