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Saudi Arabia executes man for attempting to kill security forces

Saudi Arabia has executed a man convicted of trying to shoot dead security forces as well as weapons charges, with alleged links to figures accused of terrorist activities, state media reports.

He is executed in Dammam in the Eastern Province, which has seen bouts of unrest since 2011 when mostly Muslim Shiite protesters emboldened by the Arab Spring uprisings took to the streets. The demonstrators demanded an end to what they called discrimination by the Sunni-dominated government, a charge Riyadh denies.

The Saudi man who was executed “took part in two shooting operations against security forces with an intent to kill” and “in dealing and possessing weapons,” the interior ministry says.

He was “linked to people wanted for terrorism-related activities,” the ministry adds in its statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Human rights group Amnesty International said in August that at least 40 people were executed between January and July in Saudi Arabia, more than for the whole of 2020. More than 60 people have been executed this year in the kingdom, according to an AFP tally based on official statements.

Saudi Arabia put 184 people to death in 2019, according to Amnesty, which has said it was the highest number recorded in a single year in the country.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia’s state-run Human Rights Commission said it had documented 27 executions in 2020, a decrease over the previous year due in part to a moratorium on the death penalty for drug offenses.

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