Man who planned to attend MI college beheaded by Saudi government

Posted April 27, 2019

So far this year, at least 104 people have been executed by Saudi Arabia - at least 44 of them are foreign nationals, the majority of whom were convicted of drug-related crimes.

Saudi Arabia has executed 37 people who were convicted in terrorism-related cases, the Ministry of Interior said on Tuesday.

"The majority of those executed were Shi'a men who were convicted after sham trials that violated global fair trial standards which relied on confessions extracted through torture", the organization said in an article shared on Twitter.

The executions, the most in one day since 47 prisoners were executed in January 2016, took place at several sites around the country.

Of the 37 executed, 34 were identified as Shiites based on the names of those executed released by the Interior Ministry.

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Saudi Arabia's supreme council of clerics, reportedly all ultraconservative Sunnis, said the executions were carried out in accordance with Islamic law.

King Salman ratified by royal decree Tuesday's mass execution and the 2016 executions, the Associated Press reports.

The beheadings also occurred at a moment of spiking tensions between Saudi Arabia and its principal rival, the Shiite-led government of Iran.

One of the executed, Khaled bin Abdel Karim al-Tuwaijr, was publicly pinned to a pole for several hours.

The Interior Ministry's statement on the executions was spread across state-run media, including the Saudi news channel al-Ekhbariya. It began with a verse from the Qur'an condemning attacks that aim to create strife and disharmony and warning of great punishment for perpetrators of such acts.

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Between 2015 and 2017, Saudi Arabia has executed about 150 prisoners per year, according to rights groups.

The rights watchdog said 11 of those executed were convicted of spying for Shiite majority Iran, while at least 14 others were sentenced in connection with anti-government protests between 2011 and 2012 in the Eastern Province where most of Saudi Arabia's Shiite minority live.

"The use of the death penalty is always appalling but it is even more shocking when it is applied after unfair trials or against people who were under 18 at the time of the crime, in flagrant violation of worldwide law", said Maalouf.

Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif also criticised the executions and what he said was U.S. complicity.

Executions are traditionally carried out after midday prayers.

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