Saudi Arabia executes 7: On Wednesday, seven men convicted of armed robbery were executed by the Saudi Arabian government in a public square.
Saudi Arabia on Wednesday put seven men to death after their appeals were rejected. The men were apparently forced to “confess” to the armed robbery charges under torture, Amnesty International said.
The men were shot dead in the city of Abha, located in the country’s south, reported AFP, citing witnesses. The Associated Press initially reported that the men were beheaded, as per the country’s custom.
The execution was “implemented a while ago at a public square in Abha,” a witness told AFP.
The seven men were arrested in 2006 for raiding and robbing jewelry stores, and they got death sentences in 2009. The men were juveniles during the time of their arrest.
The executions were condemned by London-based rights group Amnesty International on Wednesday.
“We are outraged by the execution of seven men in Saudi Arabia this morning. We oppose the death penalty in all circumstances, but this case has been particularly shocking,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director with Amnesty, in a statement.
All of the men, while in custody, said they were tortured and were badly treated by authorities, Amnesty said.
“It is a bloody day when a government executes seven people on the grounds of ‘confessions’ obtained under torture, submitted at a trial where they had no legal representation or recourse to appeal,” Luther added.
The seven men are Abdulaziz Al Amri, and Ali Al Qahtani, Ali Al Shahri, Sarhan Al Mashaikh, Saeed Al Zahrani, Nasser Al Qahtani, and Saeed Al Shahrani, according to AFP.
Saudi Arabia has executed 23 people so far this year. It executed 76 people last year.
“It is high time for the Saudis to stop executing child offenders and start observing their obligations under international human rights law,” Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, told The Associated Press.
Sri Lankan maid Rizana Nafeek was beheaded in January after she was convicted of murdering her employer’s infant child just a week after she arrived in Saudi Arabia. Human rights groups and the Sri Lankan government protested her death sentence, sparking a row between the two countries.
Saudi Arabia implements its own strict form of Islamic law, handing out death sentences for murder, rape, apostasy, drug trafficking, and armed robbery.
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