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Saudi Arabia Executes 37 on Alleged ‘Terror Charges’

Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry says it has executed 37 people in a single day in connection with what it called "terrorism crimes,” as a crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman against pro-democracy campaigners, human rights activists and intellectuals widens in the kingdom.

The Arabic-language Saudi Arabian daily newspaper Okaz, citing a statement issued by the ministry, the death penalty was implemented Tuesday “on a number of culprits for adopting extremist terrorist ideologies and forming terrorist cells to corrupt and disrupt security as well as spread chaos and provoke sectarian strife.”

The convicts were all Saudi nationals., according to Press TV.

 The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) also said that one of the condemned was crucified after execution.

Meanwhile, the Arabic-language Ahrar television network, in a post published on its official Twitter page, reported that imprisoned activists were among those executed by Saudi authorities.

Earlier this month, Amnesty International warned that Saudi Arabia is making use of the death penalty to crush opposition figures.

Tuesday’s mass execution was Saudi Arabia's largest in the past three years. In January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who was an outspoken critic of the Riyadh regime, along with 46 other men on terrorism charges. Nimr had been arrested in Qatif, Eastern Province, in 2012.

Saudi Arabia has stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners.

Saudi Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.

The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime, with regime forces increasing security measures across the province.

H.M

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