Saudi Arabia Executes 81 People Despite Promises It Would Curb Violence

Saudi Arabia Executes 81 People Despite Promises It Would Curb Violence

( – 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.

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.

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.

Copyright 2022,