Saudi Arabia is reportedly planning to behead 55 people convicted of terrorism crimes, including three who were arrested as juveniles. The country has already beheaded at least 151 people in 2015, and justifies the gruesome executions with Sharia law, which is also used by ISIS.
The Saudi newspaper Okaz reported on Nov. 26 that the crimes of those to be executed included killing more than 100 civilians and 71 security personnel, notes Reuters.
Okaz added that some of the condemned are linked to al Qaeda, while others are from a Shiite area where Saudi's Sunni government has cracked down on human rights.
The semi-official Saudi newspaper al-Riyadh reported on Nov. 23 that 52 people would be executed, but pulled the story off its website.
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The moms of five Shiite men to be executed (three were juveniles when they were arrested) released a statement on Nov. 25, reports The Independent: “We affirm that our children did not kill or wound anyone. The sentences were based on confessions extracted under torture, trials that barred them from access to defense counsel and judges that displayed bias towards the prosecution.”
Saudi Arabia has denied that of any of the prisoners were tortured, but Sevag Kechichian, of Amnesty International, told the UK newspaper: “Denials are absolutely not enough when there is clear evidence that points to the contrary.”
“These executions should not happen," Kechichian added. "Amnesty International is against the death penalty in all circumstances.”