Amnesty: Mass execution is Saudi tool to crush Shia minority

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Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry says it has executed 37 people in a single day “in connection with terrorism crimes,” as a crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman against pro-democracy campaigners, human rights activists and intellectuals widens in the kingdom.

The Arabic-language Saudi Arabian daily newspaper Okaz, citing a statement issued by the ministry, the death penalty was implemented Tuesday “on a number of culprits for adopting extremist terrorist ideologies and forming terrorist cells to corrupt and disrupt security as well as spread chaos and provoke sectarian strife.”

Even Taxi Drivers Do It:

The statement added that the executions took place in the capital Riyadh, the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the central province of Qassim, oil-rich and Shia-populated Eastern Province and the kingdom’s southern province of Asir. The convicts were all Saudi nationals.

The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) also said that one of the condemned was crucified after the execution.

Meanwhile, the Arabic-language Ahrar television network, in a post published on its official Twitter page, reported that imprisoned Shia activists were among those executed by Saudi authorities.

قناة أحرار@QanatAhrar

🔴 النظام السعودي الإرهابي يقتل عدداً من المعتقلين الشيعة.

See قناة أحرار’s other Tweets

Death penalty used as tool to crush Shia minority

The execution marks an alarming escalation in Saudi Arabia’s use of the death penalty, said Amnesty International on Tuesday, noting that among those put to death was a young shia man, identified as Abdulkareem al-Hawaj, who was convicted of offenses related to his involvement in anti-government protests that took place while he was under the age of 16.

“Today’s mass execution is a chilling demonstration of the Saudi Arabian authorities callous disregard for human life. It is also yet another gruesome indication of how the death penalty is being used as a political tool to crush dissent from within the country’s Shia minority,” said Lynn Maalouf, the Middle East Research Director at Amnesty International.

 “The use of the death penalty is always appalling but it is even more shocking when it is applied after unfair trials or against people who were under 18 at the time of the crime, in flagrant violation of international law,” Maalouf added.


Under international law, the use of the death penalty against people who were under the age of 18 at the time of the crime is strictly prohibited.

“Instead of stepping up executions at an alarming rate in the name of countering terrorism, Saudi Arabia’s must halt this bloody execution spree immediately and establish an official moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolishing the death penalty completely,” said Maalouf.

Earlier this month, Amnesty International warned that Saudi Arabia is making use of the death penalty to crush opposition figures.

The London-based rights group said Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor was seeking the death penalty for more people, noting that prominent preacher Sheikh Salman al-Awdah was one of those targeted for execution.

The Prisoners of Conscience, which is an independent non-governmental organization advocating human rights in Saudi Arabia, also announced in a post on its official Twitter page that Awdah, along with two other clerics, identified as Awad al-Qarni and Ali al-Omari, had been in prison for 19 months with no legal reasons.

The activists were detained in a sweeping crackdown weeks before Saudi Arabia overturned the world’s only ban on female motorists on June 24, 2018. The women had staunchly advocated for the right to drive.

Over the past years, Riyadh has redefined its anti-terrorism laws to target activism.

Tuesday’s mass execution was Saudi Arabia’s largest in the past three years. In January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who was an outspoken critic of the Riyadh regime, along with 46 other men on terrorism charges. Nimr had been arrested in Qatif, Eastern Province, in 2012.

Saudi Arabia has stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners.

Saudi officials have also intensified crackdown in the country’s Shia-populated Eastern Province.

Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.

The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime, with regime forces increasing security measures across the province.


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11 COMMENTS

  1. My close Iranian friend told me why Sunni and Shia do no get along with each other. It is to do with each other picking who should be the ruler of man after the prophet Mohammad dies. The Shia group appointed Ali as their leader, who was picked out by Mohammad before he died. The Sunnis wanted some other person. The Sunni killed Ali as he was in mid prayer in a mosque by cutting his head open with a sword. Apparently he didn’t die instantly but eventually died a painful death days later. To this day that is the conflict between the two. The Sunnis are trying to decrease the Shia population so the Sunni become more numerous. That goes a long way to explaining why Saudi Arabia helped create ISIS in Syria, why it is fighting in Yemen and why it would assist in a war against Iran. It is trying to decrease the Shia population. Along with all the other things it is trying to gain. So basically religion could be the underlying motivation for most wars, I say most but not all.

  2. “We” and the people of the United States in order to……yadayada…..Emphasis on the “we”. Emphasis on just recently. “We”, if the editors of VT are correct, nuked the American people on 911. “We” then went into Afghanistan and bombed the living shit out of them and got the heroin business booming. Next up Iraq, where even before shock and awe our sanctions reportedly caused the starvation of 500,000 children under the age of 8. I don’t know who controls the oil in Iraq now but I suspect it is one of the many faces of the “we”. Then Libya had to go. Which part of “we” is in control of that chaos and oil is any bodies guess. Now “we” are sitting on Syria’s oil patch like a grizzly bear on a moose kill, not to mention the lives lost and collateral damage done. So what about Saudi Arabia? They have the most oil of all, perhaps the weakest army of all and the worst human rights of all. But they are still standing. Am I to believe that “we” can’t topple a bunch of guys running around with 1950’s table cloths on their heads? There , in my mind, can be only one answer. “We” are Saudi Arabia. “We” are the face of the on going atrocities in Yemen. The question is, who is “we”?……

  3. This news won’t make it on GMA, CNN, FOX, or NPR. Why not? Where are all the so called social justice warriors? Busy I guess, selectively choosing what’s socially acceptable, 1. beheadings, and what needs justifying, 2. censorship, and 3. where to deploy their warriors. We’ve had a good look at where the minds of the SJWs’ are when they lamely excused Jussie Smallet’s hate crime, and when they cheered when a few of their cohorts held up what appeared to be photos of the severed head of Donald Trump. So why should we expect them to be concerned over 37 severed heads. It seems their outrage and crying over Kashoggi’s murder seems hypocritical now. Crocodile tears would be putting it lightly.

  4. Saudi Arabia is a Huge MESS that’s been going on since after the WW2 land dema-rcations …… its a Life with lots of Money but comes with highly restr-ictive condi-tions to adhere too ,,,,,,, surely since these love to chop off heads pu-blicly so the locals are accu-stomed to it all as just another day in Saudi Paradise and maybe they have spec-ialised thought-procedure of What is it that often gets heads chopped and Which Sheikh Prince is into the head chop-ping business ,,,,,,,, seems most Saudis know how to keep his Saudi head from being chopped off by keeping their heads low and in line ,,,,,, I guess limits about the Saudi Royal Family are enforced brutally within the kingdom and that locals are accu-sto–med by now on staying away from Royals and to view them only from a distance coz it seems evident that this Saudi Royal Family is Huge and each prince doing away with whatever he wants coz He Has the Money ,,,,,,,,,, To put up with any so called Royal seems like a head-ache to me ,,,,

    • Maybe so but for those who dared to disagree with the current form of government and express it openly should not be a crime punishable by execution.

    • John, for their Wahhabi for export (Chechnya, Dagestan, Tatars) and such executions, when kids and women watch these barbaric executions, – I, personally and many of my comrades (especially from spetsnaz) hate ’em. Hate for their life style, insane rules of sick religion and even their clothes. For all harm they did to our country. For the USA they are a money milking cows, for Russians they are goat lovers. And they deserved it!

  5. All this while the governments of countries such as Britain and America continue to support the Fraudis.
    The politicians of Britain and America have no shame. They are `as culpable as the murderous regime in Riyadh.
    If there is any country that deserves regime change it is Fraudi Arabia.
    BDS!

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