SHAFAQNA– A London-based human rights body is reporting the kingdom of Saudi Arabia has executed at least 122 persons in the first six months of this year; the number is twice the executions carried out in the same period last year.
The European-Saudi Organization for Human Rights in its newly-released report says the increasing number of executions runs contrary to the promise by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he pledged in April 2018 to bring death penalties to the minimum possible level.
The number of executions in the past six months surpassed 120 while the regime killed 103, 88, 41 and 55 persons in the same period from 2015 to 2018 respectively.
The ESOHR’s documents also found that since April 2018 the Saudi regime executed capital punishment on at least 221 people. They included:
- Six people under the age of 18
- Three Saudi, Nigerian and Yemeni women
- 58 out of the 221 executed convicts were foreign nationals with 21 Pakistanis standing at the first rank
- On April 23, 2019, the KSA ran mass beheading of 37 young men. Thirty-three of them were Shia citizens from the Eastern Province who were convicted for attending anti-regime demonstrations and spreading Shia faith
The ESOHR accuses the Saudi kingdom of increasingly using capital punishment as a tool to suppress its political opponents, adding other defendants were convicted on the grounds of exercising legitimate right to free speech and participating in anti-government rallies. This as, many Saudi prisoners are denied access to legal team; go under torture in detention and face unfair trials.
The European-Saudi organization says nearly two dozen individuals -three of them minors- are currently at death row and predicts with the current rate, some 244 individuals would be executed by the end of 2019.
The group concludes Saudi Arabia is witnessing one of its bloodiest eras in its history under the reign of King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz and his son Crown Prince Mohammed with 714 individuals beheaded since Salman succeeded his brother in January 2015.
The ESOHR has cautioned about the lives of other detainees in Saudi jails who face death penalty, many of them imprisoned on political charges.
Source: European-Saudi Organization for Human Rights (ESOHR.com)
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