Saudi to execute seven for crimes committed as juveniles
Saudi Arabia will execute seven men on Tuesday for crimes they committed as juveniles, Amnesty International said.
According to the British-based rights groups, the seven men, from the southern province of Asir, were sentenced to death in 2009 for an armed robbery in 2006, which all are accused of committing aged under 18. Saudi's King Abdullah reportedly ratified the group's sentences in February.
Amnesty quoted the men as saying they were tortured into confession, adding: "They have since said they were severely beaten, denied food and water, deprived of sleep, forced to remain standing for 24 hours and then forced to sign 'confessions'."
Saudi Arabia has faced criticism from the West over its high number of executions.
Already this year, 17 people have been executed in the kingdom, according to Amnesty.
The last time Saudi executed so many people at once was in October 2011, when eight Bangladeshi men were put to death for an armed robbery in which a guard was killed.
In a 2006 report, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was "deeply alarmed" at the imposition of capital punishment by Saudi judges for crimes committed under the age of 18.
The kingdom's Interior Ministry is yet to comment on Amnesty's report but has repeatedly said in the past that Saudi Arabia does not practice torture.