Saudi Arabia ramped up executions in first half of 2021: Amnesty

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The kingdom executed no less than 40 folks between January and July 2021, greater than in entire of 2020, UK-based group says.

Saudi Arabia has ramped up executions within the first half of 2021 following a drop throughout its G20 presidency in 2020, in accordance with United Kingdom-based rights group Amnesty International.

The rights group mentioned on Tuesday that the dominion executed no less than 40 folks between January and July 2021 – greater than throughout the entire of final yr.

Although Saudi Arabia executed a file 185 folks in 2019, the state-backed Human Rights Commission mentioned in January that the dominion had lowered the variety of executions by 85 % in 2020 in contrast with the earlier yr, placing the quantity for 2020 at 27.

Amnesty mentioned executions had resumed instantly after Saudi Arabia handed over the presidency of the Group of 20 wealthy nations to Italy, with 9 folks executed in December 2020 alone.

“The brief respite in repression coinciding with Saudi Arabia’s hosting of the G20 summit last November indicates that any illusion of reform was simply a PR drive,” mentioned Lynn Maalouf, deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

‘Grossly unfair trials’

According to the rights group, executions came about following convictions in “grossly unfair trials, marred by claims of torture during pre-trial detention leading to forced ‘confessions’ which the prosecution systematically failed to investigate.”

This included the June 2021 execution of a person for offences rights teams mentioned he allegedly dedicated whereas underneath the age of 18, though Saudi Arabia has mentioned it has abolished demise sentences for a lot of childhood crimes.

The authorities’s media workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Amnesty’s report.

In the report, Amnesty additionally mentioned there had been an elevated crackdown on human rights activists and dissidents. It referred to the circumstances of 13 activists who have been prosecuted, sentenced or had their sentences ratified after what Amnesty mentioned have been grossly unfair trials earlier than the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC).

In the primary half of the yr, many individuals have been additionally sentenced to a few years in jail for satirical web posts and human rights activism.

After jail, a lot of them anticipated journey bans, amongst different issues. Such a ban was additionally imposed on the well-known girls’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul. She had been given a suspended sentence of three years for her advocacy to finish the ban on girls driving.

At least 39 people are behind bars for activism, human rights work or expression of dissent in Saudi Arabia, in accordance with Amnesty.


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