Saudi Arabia Executes Record 81 Men in 24 Hours

Saudi Arabia executed 81 men on March 12 for terrorism-related offenses, its Interior Ministry announced.

All those executed were found “guilty of committing multiple heinous crimes that left a large number of civilians and law enforcement officers dead,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Some of the convicts were charged with belonging to the Islamic State (IS) group, Al-Qaeda, or Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

“They also include convictions for targeting government personnel and vital economic sites, the killing of law enforcement officers and maiming their bodies, and planting land mines to target police vehicles,” SPA said.

“Moreover, the convictions include crimes of kidnapping, torture, rape, smuggling arms and bombs into the Kingdom,” SPA added.

According to SPA, all the convicts were tried by 13 judges and gone through a three-stage judicial process.

However, the executions — which exceeded the total number killed last year — sparked condemnation from Britain-based campaign group Reprieve.

“The world should know by now that when Mohammed Bin Salman promises reform, bloodshed is bound to follow. Just last week the Crown Prince told journalists he plans to modernize Saudi Arabia’s criminal justice system, only to order the largest mass execution in the country’s history,” Reprieve said in a statement on Twitter.

Saudi Arabia ranks fifth in the list of countries with the highest execution rates, according to Amnesty International.

In 2021, Saudi Arabia carried out 69 executions.

The Middle Eastern country has often carried out previous death sentences by beheading.

Saudi Arabia has also been the target of a string of deadly shootings and bombings by the IS fighters since 2014.

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