Saudi Arabia, which carried out the gruesome mass execution of 37 people this week by beheading claimed the barbaric act was over terrorism crimes. But it is coming to light that many were minority Shi’ite Muslims who may not have had fair trials and 5 men were beheaded for being gay,
Homosexuality is punishable by death in the Gulf State, ruled over by King Salman.
A court document obtained by CNN states a man confessed to gay acts and hating the majority Sunni sect. It states: ‘He said that he did all this because he belonged to the Shia sect and because he was against the Sunni sect and because of his hate for the state and its men and its security forces.’
The executions were carried out on Tuesday in the cities of Riyadh, Mecca and Medina. One of the prisoner’s had his body and severed head pinned to a pole in a public square. The deaths were said to act as a warning to others and also a political move to impress the USA.
Many of those executed said they were totally innocent, and that their confessions had been written by the same people who had tortured them.
Tuesday’s mass execution was “another gruesome indication of how the death penalty is being used as a political tool to crush dissent from within” the country’s Shi’ite minority, said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s group’s research director for the Middle East.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the executions heightened doubts about respect for the right to a fair trial in Saudi Arabia and could fuel sectarian violence.
New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said at least 33 of the 37 men put to death were Shi’ites and it was the largest set of executions in the kingdom since January 2016.