SAUDI ARABIA: More than 50 people, including several arrested as children, will reportedly be executed soon

[30 November 2015] - Saudi Arabia allegedly plans to execute more than 50 people convicted of terrorism, including two sentenced as children, two Saudi newspapers reported this week.

Fifty-five people were awaiting execution for "terrorist crimes" that killed more than 100 civilians and 71 security personnel, the newspaper Okaz reported on Thursday, without specifying details.

On Monday, the semi-official newspaper Al-Riyadh reported that 52 people would be put to death soon, but it later pulled the story from its website without explanation.

Some of those facing execution were affiliated with Al-Qaeda, Okaz said. Others are from Awamiya, a largely Shia town in the oil-producing Eastern Province where the government has suppressed demonstrations for equal rights.

Diplomats in Riyadh say their governments have been assured Saudi Arabia will not execute Shia convicted after protests. However Saudi courts have sentenced to death this year seven Shia men convicted of sedition for taking part in pro-democracy protests and attacks on police during demonstrations over discrimination from 2011 to 2013.

Two of those men, Ali Al-Nimr and Dawoud al-Marhoon were 17 at the time of the protests. Sentencing them to death and to having their bodies publicly displayed prompted an international outcry.

The only people executed so far for Al-Qaeda related attacks in the kingdom in the last decade, which have killed hundreds, were two men from Chad earlier this year.

The alleged Al-Qaeda fighters stand accused of attempts to overthrow the government and carry out attacks using small weapons, explosives and surface-to-air missiles, Okaz said.

One prisoner was accused of trying to buy nuclear material in Yemen worth $1.5 million for use inside Saudi Arabia.

The charges against the Awamiya residents include sedition, attacks on security officials and interference in neighboring Bahrain, which has also experienced unrest since 2011.

Saudi Arabia has already executed over 150 people this year, mostly by public beheading, the most in 20 years, rights group Amnesty International said this month.


Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.