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Amnesty International, lawmakers denounce Saudi executions: 'Appalling'

Amnesty International, lawmakers denounce Saudi executions: 'Appalling'
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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 SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw MORE (I-Vt.), a leading contender for the party's 2020 presidential nomination.

Democratic freshman Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarVeterans launch pro-law enforcement super PAC with battlegrounds ad buys Kamala Harris and the stereotypes we place on Black women Pocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair MORE (Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOcasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts Pocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair Kamala Harris's facial expressions during debate go viral MORE (Mich.), the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, also criticized the executions in their own tweets.