Saudi Arabia beheads seven prisoners in one day after accusing them of ‘terrorism’ and ‘endangering national security’

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have executed seven people for ‘terrorism’ offences, the highest single-day figure since 81 were put to death in March 2022.

The seven executed on Tuesday, February 27, were convicted of ‘creating and financing terrorist organisations and entities’, the official Saudi Press Agency said, citing the Gulf kingdom’s interior ministry.

Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s most prolific users of capital punishment, has now executed 29 people this year.

The nationalities of the seven executed were not revealed, but their names and titles indicated they were Saudi.

They were convicted of ‘adopting a terrorist approach that calls for bloodshed, establishing and financing terrorist organisations and entities, and communicating and dealing with them with the aim of disrupting the security and stability of society’ and endangering national security, the official news agency said.

The report did not provide further details of the accusations against them

The kingdom, notorious for beheadings, drew a wave of condemnation from around the world with 81 executions in one day in 2022. That year Saudi Arabia executed a total of 196 people.

In 2022, Saudi Arabia executed more people than any other country besides China and Iran, Amnesty International has said.

According to an AFP tally of official announcements, 170 people were put to death in 2023.

In September, when the number already stood at nearly 100, Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director, said: ‘In clear contrast to Saudi Arabia’s repeated promises to limit its use of the death penalty, the Saudi authorities have already executed 100 people this year, revealing their chilling disregard for the right to life.

‘The authorities’ relentless killing spree raises serious fears for the lives of young men on death row who were under 18 at the time of the crimes.
‘Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s top executioners.

‘Amnesty International has documented numerous cases in which the authorities have sentenced people to death for anything from a few tweets to drug-related offences following grossly unfair trials that fell far short of international human rights standards.

‘In August alone, Saudi Arabia executed an average of 4 people per week, including one Pakistani man who was executed for drug smuggling.

‘The death penalty is prohibited under international law for drug-related offences, which do not fall under the category of ‘most serious crimes.’

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