Amnesty International, lawmakers denounce Saudi executions: 'Appalling'

Amnesty International, lawmakers denounce Saudi executions: 'Appalling'

Amnesty International and several Democratic lawmakers sharply condemned Saudi Arabia's execution of dozens of dissidents this week, which included a student who planned to travel to the U.S. to study at a university.

Saudi officials have accused the group of 37 Saudi nationals who were executed Tuesday of various terrorism-related crimes, including shooting at civilians and forming terrorist cells, while critics contend that those executed were largely pro-democracy activists.

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

“The use of the death penalty is always appalling but it is even more shocking when it is applied after unfair trials or against people who were under 18 at the time of the crime, in flagrant violation of international law,” she added, referring to Mujtaba al-Sweikat, a U.S.-bound student who was 17 at the time of his arrest.

Democrats in Congress condemned the executions, as did Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren raised more money from Big Tech employees than other 2020 Democrats: Report Krystal Ball reacts to Ocasio-Cortez endorsing Sanders: 'Class power over girl power' Saagar Enjeti praises Yang for bringing threat of automation to forefront at Ohio debate MORE (I-Vt.), a leading contender for the party's 2020 presidential nomination.

Democratic freshman Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarKrystal Ball reacts to Ocasio-Cortez endorsing Sanders: 'Class power over girl power' The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House Krystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' MORE (Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOcasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 Krystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' MORE (Mich.), the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, also criticized the executions in their own tweets.