Saudi Arabia crucifies a prisoner and executes 36 others in largest mass killing in over 3 years
- Rights groups have expressed alarm after Saudi Arabia carried out mass executions of 37 prisoners on charges it says are related to terrorism.
- One of the men was crucified after his death, a punishment usually reserved for the most heinous crimes.
- Tuesday's executions were the largest mass execution in the kingdom since January 2016.
- Executions are common in Saudi Arabia, which follows a strict interpretation of Islamic law.
- Saudi Arabia is on track to set a new record for beheading people in 2019 based on its patterns of convictions in this year alone.
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Rights groups have expressed alarm after Saudi Arabia carried out mass executions of 37 prisoners on charges it says are related to terrorism.
Saudi Arabia's official press agency said that it carried out 37 executions on Tuesday in several regions including the capital Riyadh as well as Mecca and Medina.
According to Saudi Press Agency, those executed were accused of "forming a terrorist cell" and attacking a security outpost, killing a number of officers. One of the men was crucified after his death, a punishment usually reserved for the most heinous crimes.
Executions are common in Saudi Arabia, which follows a strict interpretation of Islamic law. In August, a man accused of murder, theft, and attempted rape was allegedly crucified in Mecca.
The mass execution was the largest since January 2016, when Saudi Arabia executed 47 people in relation to alleged terrorism offences, ABC News reported.
Following the death sentences, rights groups called out Saudi Arabia for the execution spree.
Amnesty International released a statement on Wednesday, claiming the convictions were being used as a political tool to crush dissenting voices from its minority Shi'a population.
"Today's mass execution is a chilling demonstration of the Saudi Arabian authorities callous disregard for human life," said Lynn Maalouf, the group's Middle East Research Director.
According to the group, many of the men executed were subjected to unfair mass trials, or were convicted of violent offenses related to their participation in anti-government protests and were tortured and interrogated. Some of them were members of the Shi'a population.
One of the men arrested was a Shi'a man named Abdulkareem al-Hawaj, the group said, who was arrested at the age of 16 for his participation in an anti-government protest.
Amnesty says the Kingdom has already carried out at least 104 executions this year. Last year, it carried out 149 in total.
According to INSIDER's Bill Bostock, Saudi Arabia is on track to set a new record for beheading people in 2019 based on its patterns of convictions in this year alone.
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