Congresswomen Denounce Saudi Arabia for Taking The Lives of 37 People

Published April 24th, 2019 - 11:10 GMT
Ilhan Omar, left, and Rashida Tlaib. (AFP/ File Photo)
Ilhan Omar, left, and Rashida Tlaib. (AFP/ File Photo)
Highlights
US Congresswomen speak out in anger against the executions of 37 Saudi citizens.

Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have been quick to speak out in anger against the executions of 37 Saudi citizens on Tuesday, some of whom were beheaded or crucified, on dubious charges of 'terrorism'.

Tlaib, a Palestinian-American representative for Detroit, tweeted against the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, saying he "tortures & executes children". 

"Already this year, he has killed 100 people. At least 3 today were arrested as teenagers & tortured into false confessions. He killed them for attending protests! Think about that," she said in the post.

Omar, who has been outspoken against US arms sales to Saudi Arabia since taking office five months ago, also tweeted, calling the executions "appalling".

"We have to stop selling the Saudis weapons and supporting this brutality," she added.

The 37 men are presumed to have been beheaded, as is usual for executions in the kingdom. According to the official Saudi Press Agency, they were executed "for adopting terrorist and extremist thinking and for forming terrorist cells to corrupt and destabilise security". One man was reportedly crucified after death.

Amnesty said 32 of the men were from the Shia minority. It added that they had been subject to "sham" trials that relied on false confessions extracted through torture. 

Among those killed was Abdulkareem Al Hawaj, who was arrested at the age of 16 for alleged involvement in anti-government protests.

Tlaib and Omar became the first Muslim women elected into the House of Representatives in November last year as part of the wave of progressive Democrats voted into Congress.

Both have been outspoken against Saudi Arabia's human rights record. Omar has previously called for "BDS Saudi", echoing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, citing atrocities committed in the Yemen War, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and daily oppression of minorities, women and activists.

Omar and Tlaib were among 14 members of Congress who wrote to the CEOs of Apple and Google, demanding they remove Saudi government app Absher, that allows males to track movements of their female dependents. Both companies refused.

Omar and Tlaib were also among the congressional candidates last year who were targets of an online disinformation campaign directed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 

The candidates were accused of being sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood by influential social media accounts, such as those belonging to Gulf diplomats and commentators, in order to drum up opposition to the progressive pair.


This article has been adapted from its original source.


Copyright @ 2019 The New Arab.

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