01:06 GMT +309 December 2016
    Iranian women gather during a demonstration against the execution of prominent Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr (portrait) by Saudi authorities, at Imam Hossein Square in the capital Tehran on January 4, 2016

    Leaked Memo Proves Saudis Knew Executions Would Spark Unrest

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    Mass Execution in Saudi Arabia Whips Up Tensions (108)

    Saudi Arabia’s mass execution of 47 people on Saturday sparked an international outcry. According to a leaked memo obtained by The Independent, Riyadh was fully aware of this possibility, ordering security services to cancel holiday plans to be on full alert.

    The Saudi government’s decision to execute 47 people in a single day has drawn considerable criticism, particularly given that one of those individuals was Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia cleric. In addition to causing a diplomatic crisis with Iran, the incident led to mass protests across the world.

    According to leaked letter obtained by The Independent, the Saudi government was fully aware of the repercussions of its actions, but followed through with the executions anyway. The letter, issued by the head of the government’s security forces, was sent to regional chiefs in the areas where the executions took place, and was marked "very urgent."

    It orders employees to cancel holiday plans and exercise "maximum precaution."

    The document was obtained by human rights group Reprieve, who says that the letter proves the political nature behind the deaths.

    "This letter shows the level of preparation the Saudi authorities went to ahead of Saturday, having predicted the outrage that would follow their politically-motivated executions of protesters," Maya Foa, head of the death penalty team at Reprieve, told The Independent.

    "If the Saudi government really wants to prove itself on the international stage, it must stop torturing and executing protestors, and commit to fair, transparent trials."

    Reprieve isn’t the first to suggest that Saturday’s executions were politically motivated. A new analysis from Eurasia Group attributes the Saudi government’s actions to its own waning influence.

    "Saudi Arabia is in serious trouble, and they know it," Ian Bremmer, the president of Eurasia Group, told Business Insider.

    The report states that "The Saudi Kingdom faces a growing risk of destabilizing discord within the royal family this year, and its increasingly isolated status will lead it to act more aggressively across the Middle East this year.

    "More generally, expect an isolated and domestically weaker kingdom to lash out in new ways."

    Saudi Arabia has come under fire for its increased reliance on capital punishment. In 2015, the kingdom killed over 150 people. Sentences are often handed down without fair trials, and the death penalty can be given for nonviolent crimes including adultery, apostasy, and blasphemy.

    Mass Execution in Saudi Arabia Whips Up Tensions (108)


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    death penalty, capital punishment, Saudi executions, Reprieve, Nimr al-Nimr, Iran, Saudi Arabia
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    • Jg38691
      Wow....what a revelation!
    • Red Dawn
      Indeed... Don't need a freaking "leaked memo" to figure this out.
    • michael
      yes, a standard precaution showing only that the Saudis know the region in which they live.
    • Ivan Buckeye
      Provocateurs called the Saud Family, LLC. An added benefit is removing one's opponents. Two for one deal. Look at Saudi response to embassy in Iran. Using language that actually describes Saudi behaviour with beheadings. ISIS and the Sauds love those beheadings. One in the same.
    • ivanwa88
      Be-headings is a form of symbolism removing the venom to spiritual enhance the immortality of the cause. (head of snake) which is symbolic in it instils fear by appearing from nowhere and brings a swift and painful death to the unsuspecting victim.
      This symbolism over centuries has manifested itself into a form of spiritual cleansing and fortification of ones fighting spirit. The fact that it actually is carried out wilfully and indiscriminately shows the mental make up of the perpetrators. More so their inner fear and insecurity and rather dispels the true belief of martyrdom. No true martyr should feel the need to behead its enemy. Quite to contrary mercy shown in all levels of human endeavour shows strength of belief in integrity of mankind. The recognition of the inner man or soul that eventual rises to its God. Without that belief the beholder is nothing more than a soulless vessel a true barbarian of no worth or consequence. For which his God will severely punish for his evil. This modern day practice used to instil fear clearly shows the extraordinary weakness of those tribes.(my theory for what its worth)
    • Drain the swamp
      Common Putin, bomb Qurayah and finish off 90% of their oil capacity as soon as they are proved to have been behind metrojet murders. Without maney the camel thieves are going back to desert sand for kleenex, and die a natural death.
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