Human Rights Group Condemns ‘Pariah State’ Saudi Arabia Over Staggering Torture, Execution Totals

By Danny C. | DCPeriodical | 01/15/20 |

The human rights group Reprieve is questioning why Saudi Arabia will be allowed to play host for this year’s G20 summit following its atrocious sum of state-administered executions in 2019.

The nation amassed a staggering 184 executions last year, the most in six years. Reprieve describes the distressing total as a “grim milestone.”

Of the executions announced by the Saudi Press Agency last year, 88 were Saudi nationals, 90 were foreign nationals and six people were of unknown nationality, a statement released on Monday by Reprieve said.

Al Jazeera.

Reprieve released a disturbing report in April showing that 37 people were executed in one single day.

Most, if not all, were convicted in the Specialised Criminal Court (SCC), the Kingdom’s secretive and widely condemned anti-terrorism tribunal.

At least three of those executed were minors at the time of their alleged offences. This is a flagrant violation of international law, which prohibits sentencing juveniles to death.

Buzzfeed released a horrific story that same April about one of those 184 victims.

Mujtaba Nader Abdullah al-Sweikt had been accepted to Western Michigan University in 2012. He’d almost made it there too, but was stopped and arrested by Saudi officials at King Fahd International Airport on charges of taking part in a pro-democracy rally.

He was severely beaten all over his body, including the soles of his feet, and convicted on the basis of a confession extracted through torture.


Another man executed that day was Abdulkarim al-Hawaj, who “was charged with participating in demonstrations, incitement via social media and preparing banners with anti-state slogans,” according to Reprieve.

Like al-Sweik, al-Hawaj was also severely beaten by authorities, as well as tortured with electricity and barbarically chained with his hands above his head until he “confessed” to charges of terrorism.

Reprieve also reported on another man executed that day that 36 others were in April. This man was arrested for crimes he committed as a minor:

Salman Qureish was arrested shortly after his 18th birthday, accused of crimes that took place when he was a juvenile. He was denied basic legal rights and sentenced to death in a mass trial, despite repeated interventions on his behalf by the United Nations.

Several others were beaten and tortured in cruel and unusual ways, as well, including one man, Munir al-Adam, who was beaten so bad he went deaf in one ear; and another, Abbas al-Hassan, who “was beaten while blindfolded, forced to stand in stress positions for hours and deprived of sleep.”

“This is another egregious display of brutality by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. That the Saudi regime believes it has impunity to carry out such patently illegal executions, without notice, should shock its international partners into action.”

-Reprieve Director Maya Foa.

Non-Governmental Organizations have begun to boycott the next G20, which is set to take place in Riyadh in Novemeber — making Saudi Arabia the first Arab nation to host the summit.

In a joint statement, Berlin-based Transparency International, Amnesty International and Johannesburg-based CIVICUS, an alliance of civil society organisations and activists, said they were calling on other groups to join their boycott as well.

Reprieve Director Maya Foa is calling on all other member G20 nations to condemn Saudi Arabia for its tyrannical actions, while adding that all who cooperate with the kingdom are “tacitly endorsing these egregious human rights abuses”:

“The US and the UK, in particular, must hold Mohammed bin Salman to his word and demand an end to the torture and execution of children in Saudi Arabia.”

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