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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Saudi Executions

Press Statement
John Kirby
Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
January 2, 2016

We have seen the Saudi government's announcement that it executed 47 people.

We have previously expressed our concerns about the legal process in Saudi Arabia and have frequently raised these concerns at high levels of the Saudi Government. We reaffirm our calls on the Government of Saudi Arabia to respect and protect human rights, and to ensure fair and transparent judicial proceedings in all cases.

The United States also urges the Government of Saudi Arabia to permit peaceful expression of dissent and to work together with all community leaders to defuse tensions in the wake of these executions.‎

We are particularly concerned that the execution of prominent Shia cleric and political activist Nimr al-Nimr risks exacerbating sectarian tensions at a time when they urgently need to be reduced.

In this context, we reiterate the need for leaders throughout the region to redouble efforts aimed at de-escalating regional tensions.



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