Saudi Arabia executed 81 men in the biggest mass execution in decades on Saturday, including seven Yemenis and one Syrian, under the pretext of terrorism and other offenses, including holding “deviant beliefs,” authorities said.

Iran PressMiddle East: The number dwarfed the 67 executions reported in the kingdom in 2021 and the 27 in 2020, Al Jazeera reported.

State news agency Saudi Press Agency said on Saturday that a statement from the interior ministry has called Yemen’s Houthis as a “foreign terrorist organisation” and describes being related to them as these individuals’ crime.

“The kingdom will continue to take a strict and unwavering stance against terrorism and extremist ideologies that threaten the stability of the entire world,” the report added.

Saudi Arabia’s last mass execution was in January 2016, when the kingdom executed 47 people, including a prominent opposition Shia leader who had rallied demonstrations in the kingdom.

In 2019, the kingdom beheaded 37 Saudi citizens, most of them minority Shia, in a mass execution across the country for alleged “terrorism”-related crimes.

Saudi Arabia’s human rights records have been under increasing scrutiny from rights groups and Western allies since the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.


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