Saudi Arabia executes 6 in one day, bringing 2017 total to 44

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 12, 2017

The Saudi Interior Ministry stated that a Pakistani was executed for drug offenses. Qatif is also home to the town of al-Awamiya, where there has been a surge in violence since May between Shiite militants and security forces who are demolishing the town's historic center. Numerous offenses were related to their participation in protests.

The worldwide human rights organisation Reprieve understands that at least one of the men executed today was sentenced to death on charges relating to protests. Rights groups last month expressed concern that 14 Saudi Shiites face execution for protest-related crimes.

Saudi Arabia executed six people for murder and drug offences on Monday, thought to be the highest number in a single day since the year began. Authorities have blamed the unrest on "terrorists" and drug traffickers.

Protests and attacks in Qatif have become more frequent since the January 2016 execution of the prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, who supported the protests. He had been charged with inciting violence against security forces and using his sermons to sow sedition - charges he denied and said were politically motivated.

The deaths are thought to bring the number of executions claimed by the government so far in 2017 to 44.

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