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HomeWorld NewsSaudi Arabia executes 81 men in one day, the biggest mass execution...

Saudi Arabia executes 81 men in one day, the biggest mass execution in decades

Conversations of  Saudi Arabia violating human rights stirred yet again, this past Saturday, as they executed 81 men, including seven Yemenis and one Syrian in what was the biggest mass execution since 1980. Although it has not been released by the Interior Ministry how the men were killed, it is known that Saudi has faced a wide range of criticism towards its laws on political and religious expression, and the implementation of the death penalty, including for defendants arrested when they were minors.

Just last week, Saudi sentenced a fifteen-year-old boy to death following evidence highlighting extortion. Other teens that faced similar charges and had the same story, were sentenced to fifteen years, rather than death.

The Interior Ministry continues to deny claims that they are abusing human rights. In a statement on the mass executions they said that of the men killed, 37 were Saudi nationals that were found guilty in a single case for attempting to assassinate security officers and targeting police stations and convoys. The statement added, “These individuals, totaling 81, were convicted of various crimes including murdering innocent men, women, and children, “Crimes committed by these individuals also include pledging allegiance to foreign terrorist organizations, such as ISIS (Islamic State), al-Qaeda, and the Houthis.” 

For the above reasons, many can attest that the men killed sound deserving of their destiny. However, it seems that for many instances, the Saudi government could’ve been sentenced to death itself, as it has also put its innocent people through unnecessary turmoil and oppression. The U.S. Department of State in 2020 concluded that Saudi Arabia was guilty of “1. Arbitrary deprivation of life and other unlawful or politically motivated killings, 2. Reports of disappearances carried out by or on behalf of government authorities, 3. Torture and other cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment, and 4. Their prison and detention center conditions varied, and some did not meet international standards; reported problems included overcrowding and inadequate conditions.”

It is Saudi Arabia’s continuance of hypocrisy that constantly advances the conversation of human rights violations. Saudi government responds to the violation claims by denying accusations of human rights abuses and hiding behind its national security through its laws. The government confirms they were doing the right thing having the state SPA news agency said the accused were provided with the right to an attorney and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process.

The last time Saudi Arabia carried out a mass execution was in January 2016, when it murdered 47 people, including a prominent Shia opposition leader who had organized protests in the kingdom. However, its largest mass execution occurred in 1980 when they executed 63 people in one day, a year after militants seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca, according to what state media reported. 

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