Saudi Arabia last week announced it had beheaded 37 men for “terror-related” offenses in one of the largest mass executions in its history. One of the men was strung up and crucified as an example to others. Human rights groups accused the Saudis of obtaining the confessions of the men through torture.
“Saudi Arabia’s supreme council of clerics, who are all ultraconservative Sunnis, said the executions were carried out in accordance with Islamic law,” Metro reports.
CNN reported: “Many said they were totally innocent, that their confessions had been written by the same people who had tortured them. Some claimed to have evidence of their abuse at the hands of their interrogators. And one reaffirmed loyalty to King Salman and his son, Mohammed bin Salman, in hopes of getting leniency from the court, trial documents show.”
CNN obtained hundreds of pages of documents from the 2016 trials that reveal most if not all of the convictions were built from false and invented confessions including one prisoner who was said to have claimed he had sex with four of the other men.
CNN reports: ‘The prosecution of the men relied heavily on confessions, according to the court documents seen by CNN, and the 14 men charged with joining a terror cell denied the charges.Put together, the confessions attributed to those 14 men paint a detailed picture of a group of young activists who closely coordinated riots, organized anti-government propaganda, and were sometimes engaged in sexual relations with one another. One of the executed men admitted to having sex with four of the other men on trial, according to a confession presented to the court. His sexual relations featured twice in the published statements, mixed in with details about anti-government violence. Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia, which adheres to a strict interpretation of Sharia law. “He said that he did all this because he belonged to the Shia sect and because he was against the Sunni sect, and because of his hate for the state and its men and its security forces,” the court report said. The man denied the charges against him, and his lawyer said the interrogator “invented” the confession.’