Saudi Arabia: Resumption of executions for drug offenses ‘deeply regrettable’, UN rights agency says

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Spokeswoman Liz Throssell said executions have taken place almost daily for the past two weeks, following the end of an official 21-month moratorium.

“The resumption of executions for drug-related crimes in Saudi Arabia is a deeply regrettable move, all the more so after a large majority of states in the UN General Assembly have called for a global moratorium on the death penalty,” she said. journalists in Geneva.

17 executions so far

Since November 10, Saudi Arabia has executed 17 men for alleged drugs and contraband, three of them on Monday.

So far, four Syrians, three Pakistanis, three Jordanians and seven Saudis have been executed.

Since executions are not confirmed until they take place, OHCHR has no information on how many people in the country may be on death row.

Stop the impending execution

However, Ms Throssell said they have received reports that a Jordanian man, Hussein abo al-Kheir, may be in danger.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention had previously considered his case and determined that his detention had no legal basis and was arbitrary. The law experts also reported serious concerns about his right to a fair trial.

“We urge the Saudi government to halt the reported impending execution of al-Kheir and comply with the Working Group’s opinion by overturning his death sentence, releasing him immediately and unconditionally, and ensuring that he receives medical care, compensation and other reparations,” she said. said.

Against international standards

Ms Throssell stressed that imposing the death penalty for drug offenses is incompatible with international norms and standards.

“We call on the Saudi authorities to establish a formal moratorium on executions for drug-related crimes, to commute death sentences for drug-related crimes and to ensure the right to a fair trial for all defendants, including those accused of such crimes. in line with its international obligations,” she said.



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