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Saudi Arabia Executes Man, Then Crucifies Him

Kingdom accused of using 'political tool' to 'crush dissent'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2019 2:36 AM CDT
Updated Apr 24, 2019 6:33 AM CDT
Saudi policemen at a checkpoint in Riyadh.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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(Newser) – Saudi Arabia crucified a man on Tuesday, but he didn't suffer on the cross: The punishment, reserved for what the kingdom sees as the most serious crimes, took place after the man had already been executed, the BBC reports. Saudi authorities said a total of 37 people were executed Tuesday for "adopting extremist terrorist ideologies and forming terrorist cells" as well as "spreading chaos and provoking sectarian strife," reports CNN. The statement tweeted by the Saudi Press Agency did not disclose how the men were executed, though beheading is the most common method. The executions, the most in one day since 47 prisoners were executed in January 2016, took place at several sites around the country.

ISIS militants have been carrying out sporadic attacks in Saudi Arabia, but the men executed Tuesday are not believed to be linked to the Sunni extremist group, the Wall Street Journal reports. Amnesty International says most of the prisoners, including one who was arrested when he was 16 years old, were members of the country's Shia minority. The executions were "yet another gruesome indication of how the death penalty is being used as a political tool to crush dissent from within the country’s Shia minority," Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty's Middle East Research Director, said in a statement. The group says the families of the men executed Tuesday were not informed in advance. (Read more Saudi Arabia stories.)

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