(RightWing.org) – Saudi Arabia has a reputation for administering harsh justice to anyone who breaks its strict laws, but the oil-rich Gulf state has taken it to the next level. Over the weekend, the Islamic monarchy judicially killed 81 people in a mass execution. Human rights activists say many of the executions were disproportionate punishments, even by Saudi standards.
#BREAKING UN rights chief condemns Saudi 'mass execution': statement pic.twitter.com/kbCXihQFko
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) March 14, 2022
On March 12, the Saudi Interior Ministry announced it had executed 81 people, including seven Syrians and a Yemeni, for a variety of crimes. The ministry said it had convicted those executed of offenses including murder, kidnapping, torture, arms smuggling, pledging allegiance to foreign terrorist organizations, and traveling to conflict zones to fight for terror groups.
Iran says Saudi executions violated human rights, international law https://t.co/wvon1BbO3v pic.twitter.com/2eITYyKHFN
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 13, 2022
The ministry’s statement vigorously defended the Saudi legal system, saying the legal proceedings involved a total of 13 judges, defense attorneys for each accused defendant, and a guarantee of the defendants’ rights under Saudi law. Western human rights groups routinely criticize the Saudis’ frequent use of the death penalty, but even other Middle Eastern countries condemned the latest mass execution.
Iran, which famously executes gay men by hanging them from a crane, claimed Saturday’s executions violated international law. A European-based human rights watchdog said it was “the opposite of justice.”
The Saudis remain unrepentant, however. The official statement ended by pledging to “continue to take a strict and unwavering stance” against terrorism and other serious crimes. It appears Riyadh’s notorious “Chop Chop Square,” where authorities publicly behead criminals, won’t be losing its nickname anytime soon.
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