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Saudi forces heavily deployed to Qatif after executions

Social media users have reported heavy deployment of Saudi security forces in the city of Qatif to crush any protest against the recent execution of scores of dissidents.

The regime executed as many as 81 prisoners in a single day on Saturday over what it called “terror-related offenses,” in the largest mass execution carried out in the kingdom in recent memory. As many as 41 of the victims hailed from Qatif.

The executions have been followed by waves of popular protests, especially in the kingdom’s east. Domestic and regional groupings have been issuing condemnatory statements against the country.

Social media users reported that the kingdom has started summoning some of the families of the victims and threatened them to declare that they were content with the executions or face consequences.

This has, however, not prevented the Eastern Province’s people from seeking to commemorate the victims. Owners of religious centers are reportedly planning various events to mark the memory of those executed.

Local activists have also been publicizing the names and features of the victims amid the kingdom’s reported refusal to hand over the bodies of some of the victims.

Leading Saudi analyst Ali Abbas al-Ahmed has shared a list of protesters and activists executed by the Saudi regime on his twitter page https://twitter.com/AliAlAhmed_en, with the post going viral.

Saudi security forces in plain clothes have reportedly been deployed across Qatif, preventing the formation of more than two people.

However, the people of Qatif have vowed to take to the streets as soon as they can to protest the brutal execution of innocent people.

In a statement, the Arabian Peninsula Opposition bloc, which is an umbrella for Saudi dissidents, said the 41 executed prisoners, belonged to the peaceful al-Hirak al-Janoubi movement. The bloc of Saudi dissidents called the kingdom’s de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman “nothing more than a murderer, who enjoys shedding the blood of the innocent,” saying the mass execution was carried out against young people, who had exercised their right to express their opinion and had been imprisoned as a result.

Rights groups condemned the executions, saying “they flew in the face of” claims by bin Salman “that the country was overhauling its justice system and limiting its use of the death penalty.”

“These executions are the opposite of justice,” said Ali Adubusi, the director of the European Saudi Organization for Human Rights, a watchdog group. He said that in many of the cases, the charges against the accused involved “not a drop of blood.”

 

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