Søreide appalled over executions in Saudi Arabia

Ine Eriksen SøreideMinister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.Photo: oslohoyre.no / Photo Hans-Kristian-Thorbjornsen

Foreign Minister, Ine Eriksen Søreide of Høyre (H), reacted strongly to Saudi Arabia’s mass execution yesterday of 37 people, several of whom were sentenced to death merely for demonstrating.

‘’Foreign Minister Eriksen Søreide is appalled by the mass execution of 37 people the was carried out in Saudi Arabia yesterday. Norway is opposed to any use of the death penalty’’ it said on the Foreign Ministry’s official Twitter account.

One of those executed, Abdulkareem al-Hawaj, was, according to Amnesty International, only 16 years old when he was imprisoned five years ago after taking part in demonstrations against the regime.

‘’Another proof of how brutal this regime is. As the majority of those executed were Shiites, it is obvious that this is a clear warning to the Shiite minority in the country that they are exposed and must be cautious’’ wrote Amnesty’s Secretary General, John Peder Egenæs, on Twitter.

The trials of the 37 executed prisoners who were sentenced to death, according to Amnesty, were based on confessions obtained by torture.

“This is another cruel sign of how the death penalty is used as a political tool to crush opposition” said Lynn Maalouf of Amnesty’s Middle East Department in a comment.

Saudi Arabia is one of the countries in the world to execute the most people, and according to Amnesty, 147 people were executed by decapitation in public places last year.

So far, 104 people have been executed in the ultra conservative kingdom this year according to Amnesty.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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