Barbaric crucifixions are on the rise in Saudi Arabia with 134 people executed already this year.
A death penalty watchdog has revealed ‘alarming’ rise in state executions in the country – including crucifixions.
A report claims more than 130 people have been executed this year already – with at least 24 more at “imminent” risk of execution, including three children.
The skyrocketing number reportedly included at least six teens executed this year for “crimes” they were accused of carrying out as children.
And the surge has come despite a pledge from Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince to reduce the use of the death penalty amid international disgust.
The Death Penalty Project (DPP) watchdog’s report on the executions says political figures, clerics and human rights defenders have been targeted, with individuals facing death for ‘crimes’ from expressing anti-government views on Facebook to bringing water to protesters.
The report, presented to the 42nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council over the weekend, urged world leaders to boycott Saudi Arabia’s turn to host the G20 Summit next year.
The DDP says global pressure must be applied to convince Saudi Arabia to uphold international human rights standards, and place a moratorium on any further death sentences and executions.
The DPP’s report highlighted that detainees are being tortured and face “grossly unfair” trials culminating in death sentences.
Among the executions carried by the brutal regime highlighted in the report was a mass execution of 37 men on April 23.
Most were members of Saudi Arabia’s Shia minority, arrested over their participation in protests during the Arab Spring period, and tortured and convicted in sham mass trials.
The savage methods of the regime’s growing number of executions were labelled “shocking” by the report, with witnesses reporting public beheadings, often taking place en masse.
Mutilated bodies were often left on display for long periods, the report continued.
The victims’ grieving families say bodies were not returned to them and in some cases they were never told where their loved one was buried.
Individuals killed included television presenters and writers, progressive clerics, and children swept up in the uprising protests of 2011-12.
The report gleaned details of cases concerning teens on death row from interviews with family members of recent and threatened executions, and from lawyers and NGOs working on the cases.
Victims included a teen who was 16 when he was arrested in 2014, who was tortured with methods including electric shocks, suspension and being deprived of using the toilet.
He was held without charge for two years, and his false confession was the only evidence relied upon against him at trial before his execition.
Mujtaba al-Sweikat, was 17 when he was alleged to have taken part in protest-related offences.
He was arrested as he boarded a plane to commence his studies in America in 2012, and was held without charge for three years and tortured before his execution.
The report also named three teens currently at imminent risk of execution, all subject of urgent appeals by human rights defenders.
Among them is Abdullah al-Zaher, who is accused of taking part in protests at age 15. The report said he has been beaten with iron rods, and is due to be executed by ‘crucifixion’ – meaning his mutilated body will be publicly displayed for a prolonged period.