Saudi Arabia carried out its 79<sup>th execution in 2015 on Wednesday (6 May).

The news comes amidst renewed calls from Amnesty International to bring to a halt the "macabre spike" in Saudi Arabia's executions.

In 2014, an estimated 87 executions were carried out by the Kingdom, according to AFP News tallies, which is a stark reminder of the alarming rate with which executions are being carried out in 2015.

The latest death sentence was carried out in the Kingdom's northwestern region of Tabuk, reported AFP News.

Hussein al-Omairi, a Saudi national, was executed for trafficking amphetamines, according to a statement from the interior ministry.

French President calls for death penalty ban

French President François Hollande called on Tuesday (5 May) for a ban on the death penalty.

Hollande was in the Saudi capital Riyadh for the Gulf Co-operation Council summit, where he met several GCC leaders, including Saudi King Salman.

"France is campaigning across the world to abolish the death penalty. The death penalty should be banned," said Hollande told reporters after meeting GCC leaders including Saudi King Salman.

Saudi Arabia executed five foreigners on Monday (4 May) over murder and robbery charges.

Crimes that can result in the death penalty in the Kingdom, include adultery, armed robbery, blasphemy, drug trafficking, murder and rape to name a few.

Said Boumedouha, the deputy director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme, said: "This unprecedented spike in executions constitutes a chilling race to the bottom for a country that is already among the most prolific executioners on the planet.

"If this alarming execution rate continues, Saudi Arabia is well on track to surpass its previous records, putting it out of step with the vast majority of countries around the world that have now rejected the death penalty in law or practice."