Saudi Arabia executed, apparently by beheading, a prince from the ruling Saud royal family for murdering a fellow citizen.
The Saudi Arabian interior ministry issued a statement in which it said the rare act of subjecting a royal member to execution was taken as it was "keen to keep order, stabilise security and bring about justice through implementing the rules prescribed by Allah."
Prince Turki bin Saud Al-Kabeer's execution took place in Riyadh on Tuesday after his victim's family refused to accept the compensation amount and condone the punishment for him.
Prince Turki had shot dead Saudi national Adel bin Suleiman bin Abdulkareem Al-Muhaimeed during a brawl at a desert camp outside Riyadh three years ago.
The ministry's statement said the authorities had arrested Prince Turki after the investigations and he pleaded guilty to the crime. His indictment was sent to the General Court where he was "sentenced to death as retribution."
In Saudi Arabia, the Sharia law provides for the commutation of capital punishment if the victim's family accepts the blood money. In this case, the family insisted on carrying out justice.
Saudi Arabia is in the top draw of countries that carry out the highest number of judicial killings. The interior ministry said King Salman was keen on enforcing "security, justice and God's judgments" in the country, Arab News reported.
It warned that "legitimate punishment would be the fate of whoever tries to assault innocent people and shed their blood". Crimes such as murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and apostasy are punishable by death in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia executed more than 150 people in 2015, Amnesty International said in a report. Iran carried out the death sentence of close to a thousand people in the same year while Pakistan put to death 326 people, the rights organisation said.
Worldwide, at least 1,998 people were sentenced to death in 2015 and at least 20,292 prisoners remained on death row at the end of the year.
While four countries expunged death penalty in 2015, a total of 25 countries carried out executions in 2015, up from 22 in 2014.