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.
“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 SandersIn Washington, the road almost never taken Don't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE (I-Vt.), a leading contender for the party's 2020 presidential nomination.
Yesterday's mass execution underscores how urgent it has become for the United States to redefine our relationship with the despotic regime in Saudi Arabia, and to show that the Saudis do not have a blank check to continue violating human rights and dictating our foreign policy. https://t.co/nTTiuNA0ad— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 24, 2019
Democratic freshman Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarHolding back on defensive systems for Israel could have dangerous consequences The Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Pentagon 'aware' of reports Wisconsin military base's struggle to feed, heat Afghan refugees MORE (Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOcasio-Cortez explains 'present' vote on Iron Dome Holding back on defensive systems for Israel could have dangerous consequences Overnight Defense & National Security — Iron Dome funding clears House MORE (Mich.), the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, also criticized the executions in their own tweets.
This is appalling. We have to stop selling the Saudis weapons and supporting this brutality. https://t.co/4GIOhFsLdN— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) April 23, 2019
Saudi Arabia's ruler MBS tortures & executes children. Already this year, he has killed 100 people. At least 3 today were arrested as teenagers & tortured into false confessions. He killed them for attending protests! Think about that. https://t.co/lWepnpgpnk— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) April 23, 2019