Saudi Arabia is preparing for the execution of 52 people who were sentenced to death for the charges of terrorism. A total of 55 people were sentenced in this mass execution. However, three of them are still waiting the final black warrant of their execution.
The three waiting prisoners are Shi’ite Muslims who have been accused of sedition and attacking police officials. They belong to the Shi’ite majority town of Awamiyah, one of the oil-rich territories in Saudi Arabia. The town has been in the news for quite a while for the public outrage, as the Saudi government does not exercise equal rights for the Shi’ite Muslims in the country.
The three convicted were minors at the time of apprehension, and Amnesty International has pleaded the Saudi government to revise their sentence from capital punishment. Diplomats of different countries have assured media that the government has agreed to revise their decision on the minor Shi’ite prisoners.
However, what the Amnesty International is arguing about is the dubious nature of the judicial system in the country, particularly the judges and courts that sentenced the five Shi’ite Muslims. “These executions must not go ahead and Saudi Arabia must lift the veil of secrecy around its death penalty cases, as part of a fundamental overhaul of its criminal justice system,” James Lynch, deputy director of Amnesty International in the Middle East and northern Africa, said in a statement.
Other Shi’ite Muslims who have been sentenced to be beheaded are also charged with more or less the same counts. None of them have any connections with Hoosey Rebels in Yemen. However, one of them did try to buy a nuclear warhead in Yemen to launch in the Saudi capital of Riyadh to overthrow the government.
The other fifty prisoners who will be taken to the gallows belong to al-Qaeda’s Saudi branch and are charged with treason and terrorism for trying to overthrow the government.
The Saudi government has already executed 151 prisoners this year, the highest number in the last two decades. Amnesty International has urged them to reconsider the process and the sentence.
The Saudi government this year executed dozens of Islamic State sympathizers and members for carrying out terrorist attacks in the country. Dozens have died in suicide bomb attacks at mosques and other public places in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a member of the international allied forces fighting the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL), in Syria and Iraq, and has conducted airstrikes in collaboration with the likes of the US and France.
The Saudi government has not only indulged its military resources in the fight against ISIS, but has also included the clergy to refrain the public, especially the youth, from joining or sympathizing with the terrorists.
It is not usual in Saudi Arabia to conduct mass executions. The last time a mass execution took place in Saudi Arabia was back in 1979, when a group of terrorists overtook the Grand Mosque of Kabba in Mecca. After the group was brought to justice, its death orders were issued just a few days later.