Saudi Arabia executes Filipino, 153rd death sentence in 2015

Riyadh (AFP) - Saudi Arabia on Tuesday executed a Filipino man convicted of murder, bringing to 153 the number of people put to death this year in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

Joselito Lyda San was found guilty of killing Sudanese national Saleh Imam Ibrahim with a hammer following a dispute, the interior ministry said in a statement published by the official SPA news agency.

He was executed in Riyadh on Tuesday, it said.

According to AFP tallies, Saudi has executed 153 locals and foreigners this year, against 87 for all of 2014.

Amnesty International says the number of executions in Saudi Arabia this year is the highest for two decades, since 192 people were put to death in 1995.

The toll has rarely exceeded 90 annually in recent years, it said.

Saudi executions are usually carried out by beheading with a sword.

Rights experts have raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom, where the interior ministry says the death penalty is a deterrent to crime.

Amnesty says Saudi Arabia had the world's third-highest number of executions last year, after China and Iran.

Under the kingdom's strict Islamic legal code, murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape and apostasy are all punishable by death.