News ID: 115572
Publish Date : 29 May 2023 - 22:56

DUBAI (Dispatches) – Saudi Arabia said it executed two Bahraini men on Monday after being convicted of belonging to a militant group wanting to destabilize the two Mideast kingdoms.
Amnesty International had criticized their trial as being “grossly unfair.”
The Saudi Interior Ministry’s announcement, carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, identified the men as Jaafar Sultan and Sadeq Thamer.
Last year, Amnesty said the men were detained in May 2015 and held incommunicado for three-and-a-half months.
The Saudi statement said that the Specialized Criminal Court convicted the two men of belonging to a militant group — headed by a man wanted by the Bahraini authorities. The statement did not identify the group or their leader.
Amnesty, however, had criticized their October 2021 trial and conviction, adding they also had faced charges for “participation in anti-government protests in Bahrain.”
“Jaafar and Sadeq had no access to legal representation throughout their pre-trial detention and interrogations,” the rights group said in a statement in May 2022. “According to court documents, they told the court that they were tortured and that their so-called confessions were extracted under duress.”
The execution took place in Saudi Arabia’s predominantly Shia Eastern Province.
Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich and predominantly Shia 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 region.
The protests have faced a heavy-handed crackdown, with regime forces increasing security measures across the province.
Ever since Mohammed bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader in 2017, the kingdom has ramped up arrests of activists, bloggers, intellectuals, and others perceived as political opponents, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnations of the crackdown.
As a result, Muslim scholars have been executed and women’s rights campaigners have been put behind bars and tortured as freedoms of expression, association, and belief continue to be denied.
Bahrain, an island nation in the Persian Gulf just across from Saudi Arabia, did not immediately acknowledge the executions.
Anti-monarchy demonstrations in Bahrain began on February 14, 2011, and have been held on a regular basis ever since the popular uprising started.
Demonstrators demand that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power, and a democratic, just system representing all Bahrainis be established.
The Manama regime, however, has responded to demands for social equality with an iron fist, clamping down on voices of dissent.

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