Seven Saudis Executed...and the World Remained Silent

March 19. Saudi activist Ali AlAhmed has a piece in "Foreign Policy" where he talks about last week's seven executions. Here's the link. You may have to register your email and make up a password to see it, but it's free.

Here are some of his key points:
The number on death row in the kingdom could be as many as several thousands

AlAhmed writes "Blacks, who make up around 10 percent of the population, are banned from judgeships -- as are women and Muslims who observe a different version of the faith -- because the monarchy's religious tradition still views blacks as slaves, other Muslims as heretics, and women as half human. There is only one word to describe such a system: apartheid."

The body of one of the men was supposed to be on display for three days

The men were convicted of several armed robberies [no mention that anyone was hurt in any of the crimes]

At least one of the men convicted was a teenager when he did the crime

Their confessions were made after they were tortured.

AlAhmed sent letters to Lord Nicholas Philips, a former president of Britain's Supreme Court, because the Saudi's have approached Philips to try to arrange the freeing of a Saudi in Britain convicted of murder

AlAhmed made several calls to the U.S. State Department pointing out that executing these men right after Sec. of State Kerry's visit might look bad. Apparently this bore a tiny fruit and the men got another week of life and Kerry was saved from embarrassment.

Ali AlAhmed is director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs. Bio about him on Wikipedia is here.