Saudi Arabia executes 81 convicts in one day

·2-min read
A protest against the Saudi Arabian regime following the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  (PA )
A protest against the Saudi Arabian regime following the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (PA )

Saudi Arabia says it executed 81 convicted men on Saturday exceeding the number put to death in the whole of last year.

The group including seven Yemenis and one Syrian national were found guilty of “multiple heinous crimes”, including terrorism, state news agency SPA said.

Some were charged with belonging to the Islamic State group (IS), al-Qaeda or the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Human rights organisations claim many do not receive fair trials in Saudi Arabia.

According to SPA, the latest group had been tried by 13 judges and gone through a three-stage judicial process.

They were accused of plotting attacks on vital economic targets, killing or targeting members of the security forces, kidnapping, torture, rape and smuggling weapons into the country.

Saudi Arabia has one of the highest execution rates in the world - fifth in a list compiled by Amnesty International, the other four being China, Iran, Egypt and Iraq.

It executed 69 people last year and rejects claims that suspects do not receive fair trials.

Some of the men executed on Saturday travelled to conflict zones to join “terrorist organisations”, according to the SPA.

“The accused were provided with the right to an attorney and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process,” it said.

“The kingdom will continue to take a strict and unwavering stance against terrorism and extremist ideologies that threaten the stability of the entire world,” the report added.

The men included 37 Saudi nationals who were found guilty in a single case for attempting to assassinate security officers and targeting police stations and convoys, the report added.

Saudi Arabia’s last mass execution was in January 2016, when the kingdom executed 47 people, including a prominent opposition Shia leader who had rallied demonstrations in the kingdom.

In 2019, the kingdom beheaded 37 Saudi citizens, most of them minority Shia, in a mass execution across the country for alleged “terrorism”-related crimes.

Saudi Arabia’s human rights records have been under increasing scrutiny from rights groups and Western allies since the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

The Kingdom denies accusations of human rights abuses and says it protects its national security according to its laws.

SPA said the accused were provided with the right to a lawyer and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting