Alwaght- Saudi regime beheaded 37 people and displayed a mutilated body of one of them on a pole, drawing outrage from human rights advocates. The execution was carried out after "sham trials," Amnesty International said.
The west-backed kingdom on Tuesday beheaded 37 of its citizens in its biggest mass execution in three years and first of that scale since Mohammed bin Salman became the heir apparent to the throne in June 2017. AP reported, citing Saudi dissident Ali Al-Ahmed, that at least 34 of those who were executed were members of the country's Shiite minority. According to Al-Ahmed, it became the "largest execution of Shiites in the kingdom's history."
The Saudi Interior Ministry claimed that the men were subjected to capital punishment for their role in spreading extremist ideologies and establishing terrorist cells. Those executed, the ministry alleged, were bent on fueling sectarian tension and plunging the country into chaos. Some were found guilty of killing law enforcement officers, staging attacks against security infrastructure, and assisting an enemy of the state.
A beheaded body of one of the men, reported to be a Sunni militant, was pinned to a pole and put on public display.
While the Saudi regime insists that all the executions were perfectly in line with the law, Amnesty International sounded the alarm over what it called a "shocking execution spree."
Amnesty reported that 11 men were found guilty of spying for Saudi Arabia's archrival, Iran, while 14 others were sentenced to death for "violent offences" they allegedly committed while taking part in anti-regime protests against the Saudi government in 2011-2012.
The protests rocked the country's Eastern Province, home to the Saudi Shiite minority, who demanded an end to anti-Shiite discrimination and the release of political prisoners. Riyadh's crackdown on dissent led to the execution of the leader, Shiite cleric Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, in 2016. Al-Nimr was put to death along with 46 other prisoners in the largest mass execution since 1980.
Amnesty further noted that one of the prisoners executed on Tuesday was a young Shiite man who had not come of age at the time of his alleged offence. The group said that Abdulkareem al-Hawaj was just 16 when he was arrested and found guilty of crimes linked to his participation in the anti-regime protests.
Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty's Middle East research director, said that the men were convicted after "sham trials" and were forced to confess under torture.
"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 Shiite minority," she said.
Saudi Arabia have executed over 100 people since the beginning of the year and is on pace to surpass last year's total – 149.
Iran blasts US for staying silent on Saudi mass execution
Iran’s foreign minister has lashed out at the administration of US President Donald Trump for staying tight-lipped on its ally Saudi Arabia’s mass execution o.
“After a wink at the dismembering of a journalist, not a whisper from the Trump administration when Saudi Arabia beheads 37 men in one day—even crucifying one two days after Easter,” said Mohammad Javad Zarif in a tweet on Wednesday.
“Membership in the #B_team —Bolton, Bin Salman, Bin Zayed & ‘Bibi— gives immunity for any crime,” said Zarif in a reference to the highly hawkish politicians, besides bin Salman, in the US, the United Arab Emirates and Israel, namely US National Security Adviser John Bolton, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.