Saudi Arabia executes 81 convicts — largest mass execution in its history


The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on Saturday, announced that it had executed 81 convicted criminals.


The Saturday announcement is the largest mass execution conducted by the country in its modern history — more than the 67 executions reported in all of 2021 and 27 in 2020.


Prior to Saturday, the largest mass execution in the country’s history since 1980 was in 2016 when 47 persons were killed.


However, the latest figure surpasses even the 1980 figure when 63 militants were killed in a mass execution.

According to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the 81 individuals were convicted of terrorism and capital crimes.


It said that the convicts included members of al-Qaeda, ISIS and backers of Yemen’s Houthi rebels.


Of the 81 people killed, 73 were Saudi citizens, seven were Yemeni and one was a Syrian national.


“These individuals, totaling 81, were convicted of various crimes including murdering innocent men, women and children,” SPA said, citing a statement from the interior ministry.


“Crimes committed by these individuals also include pledging allegiance to foreign terrorist organisations, such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda and the Houthis, targeting residents in the Kingdom and traveling to regional conflict zones to join terrorist organisations.”


The news agency said the executed individuals were guilty of targeting government personnel and vital economic sites, the killing of law enforcement officers and maiming their bodies, and planting land mines to target police vehicles.


In addition to murder, the convictions also included punishment for kidnapping, torture, rape and smuggling weapons and bombs into the country.


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


“The accused were provided with the right to an attorney and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process, which found them guilty of committing multiple heinous crimes that left a large number of civilians and law enforcement officers dead,” the SPA report reads.


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

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