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Saudi Arabia beheads 37 people guilty of 'terrorism-related crimes'

Saudi Arabia beheads 37 people guilty of 'terrorism-related crimes'

The executions were conducted in Riyadh, Mecca, Medina and Asir.

The kingdom commonly uses the term "crucifixion" to refer to the process of publicly displaying a corpse after execution.

The executions came just days after Saudi authorities said members of the Islamic State, a Sunni militant group, had attacked a security headquarters north of Riyadh, the capital.

"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.

Maya Foa, the director of Reprieve, said the executions on Tuesday, after convictions in the specialized terrorism court, were a "horrifying show of impunity by the Saudi government" and a "staggering violation of global law".

"The death penalty was implemented on a number of criminals for adopting extremist terrorist ideologies and forming terrorist cells to corrupt and disrupt security as well as spreading chaos and provoking sectarian strike", said the Saudi Press Agency in a tweet.

"This is the largest mass execution of Shiites in the kingdom's history", said Dissident Ali Al-Ahmed, who runs the Gulf Institute in Washington.




The individuals were found guilty of attacking security installations with explosives, killing a number of security officers and cooperating with enemy organizations against the interests of the country, the Interior Ministry said.

Executions in the kingdom are usually carried out by beheading.

"In Saudi Arabia, the practice of "crucifixion" refers to the court-ordered public display of the body after execution, along with the separated head if beheaded".

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

Over 100 people have already been executed this year under Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS). The reports gave no further details on who the convicted people were or what exact crimes they had committed.

Executions are traditionally carried out after midday prayers. But residents of Saudi Arabia's Eastern province, where the kingdom's Shiites are concentrated, reported an increased police presence, presumably to guard against possible unrest.

The cabinet also lauded Saudi Arabia and the UAE for offering $3 billion in aid to Sudan, including a $500 million deposit in the country's Central Bank.

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