Saudi Arabia executes 81 men in one day, for terrorism

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Saudi Arabia executed 81 men including seven Yemenis and one Syrian on Saturday, authorities said, in the kingdom’s biggest mass execution in decades.

The interior ministry said in a statement that, “These individuals, totalling 81, were convicted of various crimes including murdering innocent men, women and children.

“Crimes committed by these individuals also include pledging allegiance to foreign terrorist organisations, such as ISIS (Islamic State), al Qaeda and the Houthis,” it added.

The number dwarfed the 67 executions reported in the kingdom in all of 2021 and the 27 in 2020.

The men included 37 Saudi nationals who were found guilty in a single case for attempting to assassinate security officers and targeting police stations and convoys.

The kingdom executed 63 people in one day in 1980, a year after militants seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

A total of 47 people, including prominent Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr, were executed in one day in 2016.

Rights groups have accused Saudi Arabia of enforcing restrictive laws on political and religious expression and criticised it for using the death penalty, including for defendants arrested when they were minors.
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