UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet condemns the “shocking” execution of 37 Saudi dissidents by the Saudi regime.
“I roundly condemn these shocking mass executions in six cities in Saudi Arabia, despite the serious doubts raised about these cases by numerous UN special rapporteurs, the Committee on the Rights of the Child and other institutions,” Bachelet said in a statement released Wednesday.
The high commissioner reacts thus to the announcement the day before by Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry of the execution of a total of 37 people, most of them Shiite activists, on charges of alleged “terrorism.
Bachelet expresses in the note her deep concern about the lack of procedural guarantees in the Arab kingdom, the possibility that the confessions had been obtained through torture and the ages of some of the accused.
For all these reasons, it calls on the rulers of the Al Saud regime to “immediately” revise their anti-terrorist legislation and to make changes so that the application of the death penalty to minors is “expressly” prohibited.
The United Nations (UN) official also notes that some of those executed had participated in anti-government protests, especially in the Shi’a Muslim-majority regions in the east of the country.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI) have repeatedly denounced the exponential increase in repression, arrest and imprisonment by Riyadh of activists who are subjected to brutal torture, including sexual assault.
The UK-based association against the death penalty, Reprieve, said in 2018 that Saudi Arabia’s execution rate had doubled since the appointment of Muhamad bin Salman Al Saud as Crown Prince in 2017.