Tuesday, 29 November, 2022
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After drop in mass executions in last 2 years, 81 people put to death in Saudi Arabia in a day

They were convicted under various charges, including murder, involvement in militant activities, and having ‘deviant beliefs’, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

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New Delhi: Saudi Arabia executed 81 people on Saturday. They were convicted under various charges, including murder, involvement in militant activities, and having “deviant beliefs”, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

This comes after a drop in mass executions in the last two years. In 2019, the kingdom had executed 184 people, of which six were women. After global condemnation, the executions dropped by 85 per cent to only 27 in 2020, but rose to 67 in 2021, according to human rights group Amnesty International.

The Saturday executions, according to the agency, are in line with the kingdom’s “unwavering stance against terrorism and extremist ideologies that threaten the stability of the entire world”, according to an AP report.

“The accused were provided with the right to an attorney and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process, which found them guilty of committing multiple heinous crimes that left a large number of civilians and law enforcement officers dead,” the Saudi Press Agency said.

In a March 2022, a non-profit organisation based in Saudi Arabia called the European-Saudi Organization for Human Rights (ESOHR) had stated that at least 44 detainees in the kingdom are facing the death penalty on charges including participating in demonstrations or expressing an opinion. 

In another report two months ago, the ESOHR claimed that while there was a drop in executions in 2020, it was not a result of change in state policy.  

“It was a personal desire of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was preoccupied with restoring his image tarnished by grave human rights violations,” it stated.

Saudi Arabia has the world’s second-highest number of executions after Iran and human rights organisations globally have raised questions on the judicial process followed by the kingdom preceding the executions.  

In 2019, Amnesty International’s review of the global death penalty stated that majority of the executions conducted in Saudi Arabia were for drug-related offences and murder. It also documented the increased use of the death penalty “as a political weapon against dissidents from Saudi Arabia’s Shi’a Muslim minority”.

Globally, more than 106 countries have abolished the death penalty, according to Amnesty.


Also Read: Saudi Arabia land forces commander’s visit to India a historic first, says defence ministry


 

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