Saudi Arabia executed four people on Wednesday, contributing to an ongoing surge in the use of the death penalty in the Gulf monarchy.

Three of those executed were Saudis sentenced to death for murder while the fourth was a Syrian man convicted of drug smuggling, according to a statement from the Interior Ministry.

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Executions are normally carried out through beheading or shootings.

In the first half of this year alone, 102 people were executed, compared with 90 in all of 2014, Amnesty International reported this week. The number of judicial killings in 2015 has since risen.

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The rights group called for a moratorium on the death penalty, warning that the kingdom’s justice system, based on Islamic Sharia code, has deep flaws and does not meet international standards, with proceedings sometimes held in secret.

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dpa/NAN


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