Categories: World

Saudi Arabia accused of beheading 12 people as attention turns to World Cup

Saudi Arabia was accused of carrying out executions on an “almost daily” basis, the UN questioned on Tuesday, and of beheading 12 people in the last 14 days while attention is focused on the World Cup, despite the regime’s promises of do not use the death penalty for non-violent crimes.

Since November 10, 17 men have been executed for what are described as drug and smuggling offences, with three executions on Monday.”, said the spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Liz Throssell.

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The wave of executions violated the moratorium implemented by the Saudi monarchy in 2021 on the use of the death penalty for non-violent crimes.

Thus, “the resumption of executions for drug offenses in Saudi Arabia is a very regrettable step, especially when it comes days after a vast majority of states in the UN General Assembly called for a global moratorium on capital punishment.” Throssell added.

“Since executions are only confirmed once they take place in Saudi Arabia, We don’t have any information on how many people are on death row.”, the spokeswoman deepened, although she pointed out that they have information that reveals that a Jordanian would be “at risk of imminent execution”.

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed Bin Salman. (AFP).

Throssell stressed that the case of this detainee, Hussein abu al-Kheirwas approached by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, which found that his arrest was arbitrary “lacking a legal basis” and because of “serious concerns about his right to a fair trial”.

“We call on the Saudi government to stop the impending execution of Al-Jeir and to comply with the opinion of the task force and reiterate his death sentence, release him immediately and unconditionally, and ensure that he receives medical attention, compensation and other reparations. ”, he indicated.

The spokesperson reiterated that “imposing the death penalty for drug offenses is incompatible with international norms and standards”and called on Riyadh to “adopt a formal moratorium on executions for drug offences, commute death sentences for drug offences, and guarantee the right to a fair trial for all defendants, including those charged with these offences, in line with its international obligations”.

Meanwhile, the crown prince Mohammed Ben SalmanThe 37-year-old was present in Qatar for the opening ceremony of the soccer World Cup on Sunday and was photographed sitting next to the head of FIFA, Gianni Infantino.

While all eyes are on football, the Arab giant carried out executions of innocents over the weekendsuch as taxi driver Hussein Abo al-Kheir, who is waiting his turn after being sentenced to death after amphetamine pills were found hidden in his fuel tank at a border checkpoint.

But the human rights organization reprieve assures that the drugs were placed in his vehicle and that the man confessed under torture. His director Maya Foa accused the regime of taking advantage of the World Cup to distract international attention.

The Kingdom’s international partners must act now to save Hussein and stop the bloodshed.Foa said.

Saudi Arabia executed in 2022 twice as many people as last yearwhich highlights an increase in capital punishment that is condemned by human rights groups.

The latest execution, a Jordanian detainee, involved the last of a total of 138 executions in the year, compared to 69 last year, according to an AFP count. In 2020, 27 death sentences were carried out and 187 in 2019.

“The lives of people sentenced to death for drug-related offenses and other crimes are in danger”, Amnesty International said in a statement last week, after two Pakistani nationals were confirmed executed for heroin smuggling. “Regardless of the crimes committed, no one should suffer this cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.”

DPA and AFP Agencies

Source: Elcomercio