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Saudi Arabia carries out 37 executions, including a crucifixion

By Danielle Haynes

April 23 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia carried out the executions of 37 men convicted of terrorism offenses, including one who was crucified, the country's state-run media agency announced Tuesday.

The Interior Ministry said the executions took place throughout the kingdom, including the capital of Riyadh and Qassim.

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The men "adopted the extremist terrorist ideology and formed terrorist cells to spread corruption, insecurity, chaos, sedition and sectarianism and threaten the public peace and social welfare in addition to attacking security headquarters by using explosive bombs, killing of a number of security men and breaching of the trust in cooperation with hostile parties harming the supreme interests of the country," the ministry said.

Amnesty International called the sentences a "shocking execution spree."

"Today's mass execution is a chilling demonstration of the Saudi Arabian authorities' callous disregard for human life," said Lynn Maalouf, Middle East research director at Amnesty International.

"It is also yet 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."

In 2018, Saudi Arabia had the third-highest number of executions with 149. Only China (with thousands) and Iran (more than 253) carried out more.

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