WORLD

EU opposes capital punishment in Saudi Arabia

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EU foreign policy chief Tuesday said the bloc opposes capital punishments in Saudi Arabia where the number this year passed 45.

"The European Union is unequivocally opposed to the use of capital punishment in all cases and without exception," Federica Mogherini said in an official statement.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia executed in the past days four people convicted for drug trafficking offenses. These recent executions bring the number of people put to death since January 2019 to over 45," she said.

Mogherini said capital punishment is a "cruel and inhumane punishment, which fails to act as a deterrent."

Saudi Arabia has been under increasing pressure for its detention of political prisoners and activists, and in recent months the pressure has grown considerably after claims that female activists being detained are subject to lashings and electric shocks.

Moreover, the kingdom is under heavy scrutiny following the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last October.

It is believed Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered the killing of the Washington Post journalist. The government admitted Khashoggi was killed in a fight with "rogue" agents but contend the royal court had nothing to do with it.

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