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Saudi executions surge 'disturbing'

SAUDI ARABIA is witnessing a “disturbing” surge in the use of the death penalty, rights group Amnesty International has warned.

Four members of the same extended family were killed on Monday morning for “receiving large quantities of hashish,” bringing the number of executions to 17 in the past two weeks.

The families of the two sets of brothers said that their confessions had been obtained under torture.

“The recent increase in executions in Saudi Arabia is a deeply disturbing deterioration,” said Amnesty Middle East and North Africa deputy director Said Boumendouha.

“The authorities must act immediately to halt this cruel practice.

“The death penalty is always wrong and it is against international law to use it in cases involving non-lethal crimes and where evidence used to convict the person is based on ‘confessions’ extracted as a result of torture,” he said.

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