Government questioned after mass execution in Saudi Arabia

24 April 2019

Vince Cable has asked the government to make a statement following the execution of 37 prisoners in Saudi Arabia yesterday.

Amnesty International have condemned the executions, which included the killing of a man who was under 18 at the time of his arrest, in contravention of international law.

The Middle East research Director of Amnesty International, Lynn Maalouf called it "another gruesome indication of how the death penalty is being used as a political tool to crush dissent from within the country’s Shi’a minority". The humanitarian organisation, who oppose capital punishment, say that the executions followed torture, unjust trials and forced confessions.

The Saudi authorities are thought to have executed 104 people so far in 2019. Those executed yesterday were charged with terrorism offenses. It is thought that one man was crucified.

Responding to the urgent question, Minister of State for Europe and the America,  Sir Alan Duncan said;

"We are very concerned by the executions of 37 men in Saudi Arabia and the Foreign Office is working to establish the full facts […] The UK government opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and in every country, including Saudi Arabia. We regularly raise human rights concerns, including the use of the death penalty, at the highest levels with the Saudi Arabian authorities."

In response, Sir Vince Cable said said;

"We are in urgent need of a reappraisal of our relationship with Saudi Arabia given that the continued medieval barbarism of the regime does not constitute the basis for a friendly alliance, and indeed makes it an enemy of our values and our human rights."

Image: Luke Richard Thompson via Wikimedia Commons

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