IMAGE: Execution by beheading in Saudi Arabia, 2008. This image is a still taken from mobile phone footage (Source: Amnesty International).
A recent spree of beheadings by the government of Saudi Arabia has drawn both domestic and international condemnation, after the royal authorities ordered over 80 prisoners to be executed in a single day.
In addition to human rights groups in the West, this industrial display of state-sponsored violence has drawn a wave of condemnation from some Islamic and Saudi opposition groups. According to human rights advocates, most of those executed had only been jailed only for exercising their right to free speech and expression, while being labeled by the kingdom’s clerics as guilty of “terror-related offenses.”
This single day total of executions by Saudi government exceeds the total number of executions conducted in the Gulf kingdom throughout 2021.
In a statement made by the Arabian Peninsula Opposition bloc for Saudi dissidents, the group strongly condemned what is believed to be the largest mass execution carried out in recent memory.
Officials in Riyadh wasted no time in cracking down on the opposition, as security forces moved in to quell protests which have fomented around the city of Qatif…
Press TV reports….
Social media users have reported heavy deployment of Saudi security forces in the city of Qatif to crush any protest against the recent execution of scores of dissidents.
The regime executed as many as 81 prisoners in a single day on Saturday over what it called “terror-related offenses,” in the largest mass execution carried out in the kingdom in recent memory. As many as 41 of the victims hailed from Qatif.
The executions have been followed by waves of popular protests, especially in the kingdom’s east. Domestic and regional groupings have been issuing condemnatory statements against the country.
Social media users reported that the kingdom has started summoning some of the families of the victims and threatened them to declare that they were content with the executions or face consequences.
This has, however, not prevented the Eastern Province’s people from seeking to commemorate the victims. Owners of religious centers are reportedly planning various events to mark the memory of those executed.
Local activists have also been publicizing the names and features of the victims amid the kingdom’s reported refusal to hand over the bodies of some of the victims.
Leading Saudi analyst Ali Abbas al-Ahmed has shared a list of protesters and activists executed by the Saudi regime on his twitter page with the post going viral.
In a statement, the Arabian Peninsula Opposition bloc, which is an umbrella for Saudi dissidents, said the 41 executed prisoners, belonged to the peaceful al-Hirak al-Janoubi movement. The bloc of Saudi dissidents called the kingdom’s de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman “nothing more than a murderer, who enjoys shedding the blood of the innocent,” saying the mass execution was carried out against young people, who had exercised their right to express their opinion and had been imprisoned as a result.
Rights groups condemned the executions, saying “they flew in the face of” claims by bin Salman “that the country was overhauling its justice system and limiting its use of the death penalty.”
“These executions are the opposite of justice,” said Ali Adubusi, the director of the European Saudi Organization for Human Rights, a watchdog group. He said that in many of the cases, the charges against the accused involved “not a drop of blood.”
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