Saudi Arabia carried out at least 157 executions in 2015 while beheading reached at its highest level in two decades.
According to Rights group Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia had exceeded its highest level of executions since 1995, when 192 executions were recorded. The number of people executed for non-lethal offenses, particularly for drug-related crimes has also gone up. At least 63 people had been executed since the start of the year for drug-related offenses which is 40 percent of the total number of executions in 2015.
Human Rights Watch found that of the first 100 prisoners executed in 2015, 56 had been based on judicial discretion and not for crimes for which Islamic law mandates a specific death penalty punishment.