Saudi Arabia Marks Crime Crackdown with 37 Executions, Including a Crucifixion

In this March 22, 2018 file photo, an Honor Guard member is covered by the flag of Saudi A
AP/Cliff Owen, File

Saudi Arabia executed 37 men convicted of terrorism offenses, including one who was crucified, the country’s state-run media agency revealed Tuesday.

Executioners publicly pinned the body and severed head of one convicted Sunni offender to a pole as a warning to others.

“The death penalty was implemented on a number of criminals for adopting extremist terrorist ideologies and forming terrorist cells to corrupt and disrupt security as well as spreading chaos and provoking sectarian strife,” SPA said in a tweet.

The Interior Ministry said the beheadings took place throughout the kingdom, including the capital of Riyadh and Qassim.

Among those executed, at least 14 were convicted of violent offences relating to their participation in anti-government demonstrations, Amnesty International reports.

Last year, the oil-rich Gulf state carried out 149 death sentences, according to Amnesty, which said only Iran was known to have executed more people.

People convicted of terrorism, homicide, rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking face the death penalty, which the Saudi government says serves as a deterrent against serious crime.

In 2018 a man was executed and crucified after he was accused of stabbing a woman to death. He was also accused of attempted murder of another man along with attempting to rape a woman, Bloomberg reported.

The Gulf state does not release official statistics on the number of executions it carries out, but state media does report frequently on executions.

According to Amnesty, at least 104 people have been executed in Saudi Arabia this year alone.

A U.N. human rights watchdog in 2016 called on Saudi Arabia to end “severe” discrimination against girls and to repeal laws that allow the stoning, amputation, flogging and execution of children.

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