(Washington D.C., March 12, 2022) – Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Interior announced today that it has executed 81 individuals whom it says were "convicted of terrorism," alleging that some were ISIS and Al Qaeda operatives. 37 of the men were from Saudi's Shia minority community.
The men were reportedly tried in the country's Specialized Criminal Court pursuant to the Counterterrorism Law, which has been widely criticized as politicized and for lacking basic due process.
Saudi officials completed the March 12 execution privately and according to people close to the victims, the government refused to deliver the corpses to families.
"Today's unprecedented shocking mass executions in what we know to be sham trials under sham laws in Saudi Arabia should dispel any mythology about MBS's transforming into some kind of 'reformer'," said Sarah Leah Whiston, Executive Director of Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN). "Coddling MBS has only made him more brazen, from holding hostage the price of oil amidst a global crisis, to killing dozens of his countrymen in a single day."