Saudi Arabia killed 81 suspected criminals on Saturday, the largest mass execution recorded in the kingdom’s modern history.
Those killed had been convicted of a range of crimes including murder, membership in militant groups like al-Qaeda and supporting Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
The executions were announced by Saudi Arabia’s state-run news agency, which did not specify where they occurred, the significance of the timing or the method of killing – although the kingdom usually beheads the executions. condemned.
Most of the prisoners killed were Saudis, the agency said. Seven Yemenis and one Syrian were also killed.
“The defendants were given the right to counsel and were guaranteed all of their rights under Saudi law during the court process, which found them guilty of committing multiple heinous crimes that resulted in a large number of deaths. among civilians and law enforcement,” the Saudi said. The news agency said.
“The kingdom will continue to take a strict and unwavering stance against terrorism and extremist ideologies that threaten stability around the world,” the report added.
Critics of King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have said the death penalty is unjust and secretive.
“The world should know by now that when Mohammed bin Salman promises reform, bloodshed will follow,” said Soraya Bauwens, deputy director of Reprieve, a London-based advocacy group.
Crown Prince Mohammed has relaxed some of Saudi Arabia’s tough policies – allowing women to drive and stripping the country’s fearsome vice police of their powers. However, he also ordered the dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi and killed hundreds of Yemeni civilians in airstrikes, according to the United States.
Some activists said they believed the more than three dozen executed prisoners were Shia, who live in the east of the kingdom and have long complained of persecution. Prisoners’ confessions were not disclosed.
Protesters took to the streets in the Shia-majority kingdom of Bahrain on Saturday night to demonstrate against the mass execution.
With post wires