Saudi Arabia executed 81 men in 24 hours, marking the highest number of mass execution in a day in the history of the country. The men were executed on multiple charges including including "allegiance to foreign terrorist organizations" and holding "deviant beliefs. The number dwarfed the 67 executions Saudi Arabia ordered in a day in 2021.
The men included seven Yemenis, one Syrian, and 37 Saudi nationals, who were found guilty in a single case for attempting to assassinate security officers and targeting police stations and convoys, according to Saudi Press Agency.
Crime Related to Terrorism
"These individuals were convicted of various crimes including murdering innocent men, women, and children," said Saudi Press Agency citing a statement by the interior ministry.
Some of the executed persons had also traveled to conflict zones to join terror organizations. "Crimes committed by these individuals also include pledging allegiance to foreign terrorist organizations, such as ISIS [ISIL], al-Qaeda, and the Houthis," the statement added.
During the judicial process, all of the accused under Saudi law had received an attorney and were guaranteed their full rights.
Saudi Arabia has also said that it will continue to take a strict and unwavering stance against terrorism and extremist ideologies that threaten the stability of the entire world, reported Al Jazeera.
Mass Executions in Saudi Arabia
The mass execution was not new in Saudi Arabia as in 2016 the kingdom had executed 47 people including a known Shia leader.
The kingdom had beheaded 37 citizens in 2019 in a mass execution countrywide for terror-related crimes.
Saudi Arabia has been accused of committing grave violations of human rights and such criticisms ramped up after Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's agents in Turkey in 2018.
The kingdom has restrictive laws on political and religious expression and it has also faced strong criticism on the implementation of the death penalty, including for defendants arrested when they were minors.