Twelve men convicted of drug offences in Saudi Arabia have been executed by being beheaded with a sword in the last 10 days, causing an outcry from human rights organisations around the world.
This most recent wave of executions - most of which are beheadings with a sword - is part of a recent increase that shows Saudi Arabia is on track for a record year of executions despite Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman saying they were working to reduce such severe punishments.
Those executed were all males and had been sentenced to death after being convicted for non-violent drug charges. Four were Syrian, three Pakistani, three Saudi, and two Jordanian.
Another Jordanian man who has been transferred to the execution wing is expected to be killed on Friday.
These latest executions bring the total number this year to at least 132, more than were executed in 2020 and 2021 combined.
In 2018, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that his administration was working to "minimise" capital punishment, keeping the most severe punishments only for those convicted of murder or manslaughter.
He told Time Magazine: "His Majesty, the King, doesn't wake up and just sign whatever he wants to sign. He works by the law, by the book."
In 2020, it looked as though changes were coming after Saudi Arabia proposed to change the law to end the death penalty for drug and other non-violent offences.
Maya Foa, director of human rights organisation Reprieve, said: "Mohammed bin Salman has repeatedly touted his vision of progress, committing to reducing executions and ending the death penalty for drug offences. But as a bloody year of executions draws to a close, the Saudi authorities have begun executing drug offenders again, in large numbers and in secret."