Saudi Arabia has been accused of using the World Cup as a distraction after it beheaded 17 people over the last 12 days, a UN official said Tuesday, despite the country’s leaders pledging not to use the death penalty.
UN human rights office spokesperson Elizabeth Throssell called the capital punishment ‘deeply regrettable’ at a press briefing in Geneva, reported the Independent.
The spate of executions were punishments for drugs offences, though the country implemented a moratorium on the use of the death penalty for non-violent crimes in 2021.
Most executions in Saudi Arabia are carried out by beheading. The total of 144 beheadings for 2022 has already beat the total number for the last two years combined.
Meanwhile, the Saudi leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, attended Sunday’s World Cup opening ceremony, sitting next to Fifa boss Gianni Infantino.
Human Rights charity Reprieve highlighted the case of a taxi driver facing imminent execution in a Saudi prison, whose sister…