Saudi Arabia executes two soldiers for 'treason'
September 14, 2023 11:51 PM
Saudi Arabia executed two soldiers, including a pilot, on Thursday after they were convicted of "military treason", the defence ministry said, without providing further detail on the charges.
The defence ministry, quoted by the state news agency SPA, named the two soldiers as Pilot Colonel Majid bin Moussa al-Balawi and Chief Sergeant Youssef bin Reda al-Azouzi.
They were arrested in September 2017 and investigations resulted in "the first being convicted of committing military treason and failing to safeguard the nation's interests and the honour of military service," it said.
The second was convicted of committing "high, national and military treason", in addition to the other charges, the ministry said, without providing further details.
The two were executed in the western city of Taif.
Executions of soldiers are rare in Saudi Arabia, known for its secrecy on matters concerning its military forces.
The last announced executions of soldiers were in April 2021, when three were put to death for high treason.
The latest executions brings the total in the kingdom this year to 106, according to an AFP tally based on official sources.
Last year it put to death 147 people, 81 of them on a single day for terrorism-linked crimes. The mass execution sparked an international outcry.
Amnesty International ranked Saudi Arabia as having the third highest number of executions in the world in 2022, after China and Iran.