Saudi Arabia carried out its 100th beheading on 15 June, far surpassing the number of executions for all of 2014.
The kingdom executed a Syrian drug trafficker and a convicted murderer, marking an uptick in executions from the 87 recorded last year. According to Amnesty International, neither total is nearly as high as the 192 executions in 1995.
The Saudi Press Agency reported that Syrian Ismael al-Tawm smuggled "a large amount of banned amphetamine pills into the kingdom". Al-Tawm was beheaded in the northern region of Jawf.
The news agency released another statement that Saudi Rami al-Khaldi was executed in the western province of Taef. Al-Khaldi was convicted of stabbing a fellow Saudi to death.
According to the Daily Mail, a large number of executions in the Middle Eastern kingdom stem from drug and murder convictions. The European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights, based in Berlin, released a report stating the death penalty "is often applied to powerless individuals with no government connection".
Meanwhile, Amnesty International claims that the use of the death penalty other than for the "most serious crimes" is a violation of international law. Saudi Arabia runs under Islamic sharia law, which allows drug trafficking, rape, murder, armed robbery and apostasy to be punishable by death.
Amnesty International ranks Saudi Arabia among the world's top five executioners in 2014.
The kingdom has also dealt with international condemnation over its executions, many of which involve foreigners. Those executed in 2015 include: eight Yemenis, 10 Pakistanis, Syrians, Jordanians as well as those from Myanmar, the Philippines, India, Chad, Eritrea and Sudan.
Earlier this year, Indonesian domestic worker Siti Zainab, who was convicted of murder, was beheaded. Jakarta summoned Riyadh's ambassador over the incident, the Daily Mail noted.
The surge in executions has been noted since the 23 January death of King Abdullah and the ascension to the throne by King Salman.