The United Nations (UN) and human rights organizations have called on Saudi authorities to abolish the death penalty for drug-related crimes in Saudi Arabia.
International rights organizations have expressed concern over the Saudi government’s decision to impose the death penalty for drug crimes and have called it a very regrettable step.
It has been pointed out that the death penalty for drugs and other charges has resumed just days after the United Nations General Assembly called for a halt to the death penalty around the world in the majority of countries.
A spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the death penalty for crimes such as drugs was inconsistent with international norms and standards.
Since November 10, so far 17 suspects including three Pakistani nationals have been sentenced to death in drug cases. Gulzar Khan who was arrested for smuggling heroin among three Pakistanis was finally executed. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights confirmed on November 22.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokeswoman Elizabeth Throssell said executions were carried out every day in Saudi Arabia where Saudi authorities lifted a 21-month unofficial moratorium on the death penalty for drug-related crimes this month.
Those executed included four Syrians, three Jordanians, seven Saudis and three Pakistanis.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights did not confirm how many suspects were currently on the death row list. However, Pakistan has never protested against the death penalty while Amnesty International has strongly reacted to the death penalty calling such a move an attack on the right to life.
“This is the first execution of Pakistani nationals for drug-related offences since the Saudi Human Rights Commission announced a ban on the use of the death penalty for drug-related offences in January 2021,” the spokesman said.