TEHRAN (defapress)- The Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement deplored Saudi Arabia’s latest mass execution of its nationals, saying the US is complicit in the “heinous crimes” committed by the Riyadh regime against freedom-seeking people.
News ID: 77023
Publish Date: 25April 2019 - 18:21
In a statement released late on Wednesday, Hezbollah expressed solidarity and sympathy with the families of the 37 Saudi citizens, who were brutally beheaded for alleged terrorism-related offences, presstv reported.
It also “firmly condemned the heinous crime committed by the Saudi regime against dozens of innocent civilians, involved only in seeking right to liberty and freedom of speech”.
The US is as “a key partner” in the Saudi regime’s atrocities, the resistance group said, urging human rights groups to pressure their governments into exposing the Saudi role in creating terrorist groups.
“The US is responsible for protecting and sponsoring this regime and for pushing the international community to condone its heinous crimes in order to preserve its money and oil interests,” Hezbollah added.
It further denounced the “suspicious” international silence om the crimes being perpetrated by the Saudi regime and its Wahhabi-inspired proxies across the world.
On Tuesday, the Saudi Interior Ministry announced that it had executed 37 citizens for their alleged “adoption of extremist, terrorist ideology and forming terrorist cells to corrupt and disturb security, spread chaos and cause sectarian discord”. At least 33 of the victims belonged to Saudi Arabia's Shia minority, according to Human Rights Watch.
The beheading was the largest in Saudi Arabia since January 2016, when 47 men were executed in a single day, including outspoken Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr.
The mass execution sparked widespread condemnations amid reports that the convictions were based on unfair trials and that confessions were extracted through torture.
The UN human rights chief on Wednesday called Saudi Arabia's mass executions of 37 men "shocking" and "abhorrent", joining a growing chorus of condemnation by rights groups and activists, Al-Jazeera reported.
"I strongly condemn these shocking mass executions across six cities in Saudi Arabia yesterday," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a statement.
"It is particularly abhorrent that at least three of those killed were minors at the time of their sentencing," she added.
Bachelet stressed that the executions were carried out despite repeated warnings from rights officials and UN rapporteurs about lack of due process and fair trial guarantees amid allegations that confessions were obtained through torture.
The UN official urged Saudi Arabia to review its counterterrorism legislation, expressly prohibit the death penalty for minors, and halt pending executions including of three men on death row - Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon and Abdulla al-Zaher - whose cases she stated had been taken up by the UN rights system.
Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for Bachelet, underlined that the UN had "sought to take measures to prevent these executions from taking place in the first place", and urged the Saudi authorities to not carry out the penalties, but "unfortunately, this was to no avail".
"We are now concerned because there are others who remain on death row and we are calling on the authorities to halt any imminent execution, to review the legislation relating to the death penalty, and in particular to outlaw the execution of those who are convicted as minors," Shamdasani underscored.
Amnesty International also announced late on Tuesday the majority of those executed in six cities belonged to the Shia minority and were convicted after "sham trials", including at least 14 people who participated in anti-government protests in the kingdom's oil-rich Eastern Province in 2011-2012.
The right group noted that the kingdom has stepped up the rate of executions in 2019, with at least 104 people put to death since the start of the year compared with 149 for the whole of 2018.
The mass execution was "another gruesome indication of how the death penalty is being used as a political tool to crush dissent from within" the country's Shia minority, Lynn Maalouf, the group's research director for the Middle East, said.
European Union Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini stated that the executions heightened doubts about respect for the right to a fair trial in Saudi Arabia and could generate sectarian violence.
"Mass executions are not the mark of a 'reformist' government, but rather one marked by capricious, autocratic rule," HRW's Middle East director Michael Page added.