Newspaper: Saudi Arabia plans mass executions during the Christmas period

Saudi Arabia plans to use Christmas as a cover for mass executions to distract the West during the festivities, according to a warning reached by a UK government minister, seen by the newspaper.The telegraph“.

In a letter to the foreign secretary seen by The Telegraph, British MPs said Saudi Arabia would use Christmas as a “cover to commit atrocities”, as was the case in 2016 when around 50 people, including children, were executed around late December.

“We are deeply concerned that Saudi Arabia may carry out a mass execution during the holiday period, when the eyes of the world are elsewhere and the Saudi authorities feel they will face less diplomatic reaction,” the letter to British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said.

The letter added, “Saudi Arabia has a history of carrying out executions during the holidays and New Years, as it did in 2016 and 2020, when it was difficult for the international community to respond quickly. We urge you to submit declarations before the holidays to express that this would be totally unacceptable.” Before it’s too late”.

About 60 people are known to face execution in Saudi Arabia, according to human rights groups, which say the real figure is likely to be much higher.

The letter indicated that “Saudi Arabia executed at least 20 people during the past two weeks, including 12 foreigners.” “It is no coincidence that Saudi Arabia carried out its recent series of executions while the world was watching the World Cup,” the deputies wrote.

The Telegraph reached out to Saudi officials for comment, but did not receive a response.

And last November, Saudi executed Saudi nationals for drug offences, bringing the total number of executions within two weeks to 17.

Saudi Arabia had previously pledged that it would not impose the death penalty for drug crimes, but it suddenly reneged on its promise, and executed seven Saudis and 10 foreigners, bringing the total number of executions this year to 144.

The execution wave prompted the former Conservative British minister, David Davis, to write a letter addressed to the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, and the Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom, asking them to intervene in the case of the accused, Hussein Abu al-Khair, a Jordanian national, according to what was reported by the “Guardian” newspaper at the time. .

said a spokeswoman Human Rights Office On November 22, the United Nations announced that 17 men had been executed in Saudi Arabia since November 10 on drug and smuggling charges, and described the executions as “extremely unfortunate.”

The spokeswoman, Elisabeth Throssell, told a press briefing in Geneva that those executed were from Syria, Pakistan, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. This brings the total number of executions this year to 144, she said.

And Saudi Arabia executed in 2022 twice the number of those who carried out these sentences last year, according to a statistic revealed by Agence France-Presse, and indicates a sharp increase in this procedure, which is strongly condemned by international human rights organizations.

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