Saudi Arabia: Up to 81 convicts executed in one day


Saudi Arabia on Saturday has executed 81 people convicted of “multiple heinous crimes”, including terrorism, the largest known mass execution carried out in the kingdom in recent times.

State news agency SPA said among those executed were seven Yemenis and one Syrian national although it did not say how the executions were carried out. Saudi Arabia typically beheads death row inmates.

Some were charged with belonging to the Islamic State group (IS), al-Qaeda or the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Rights organisations say many do not receive fair trials in Saudi Arabia, an allegation the government rejects.

According to SPA, the latest group had been tried by 13 judges and gone through a three-stage judicial process.

They were accused of plotting attacks on vital economic targets, killing or targeting members of the security forces, kidnapping, torture, rape and smuggling weapons into the country.

Saudi Arabia has one of the highest execution rates in the world – fifth in a list compiled by Amnesty International, the other four being China, Iran, Egypt and Iraq.

It executed 69 people last year. (Source: BBC)