Saudi Arabia executed two soldiers, including a pilot, on Thursday after they were convicted of “military treason”, the Defense Ministry said, without giving further details of the charges.
The Defense Ministry, quoted by 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 people convicted of committing military treason and failing to safeguard the interests of the country and the honor of military service,” the report 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, which is known for its secrecy on matters involving the armed forces.
The last announced executions of soldiers took place in April 2021, when three people were put to death for high treason.
The latest executions bring the total in the kingdom this year to 106, according to an AFP count based on official sources.
Last year, 147 people were put to death, including 81 in one day, for terrorism-related crimes. The mass execution sparked international outrage.
Amnesty International ranked Saudi Arabia as having the third highest number of executions in the world in 2022, behind China and Iran.
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