Saudi Arabia Executes 4 Shiites for Role in Violent Protests

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) —
(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Saudi Arabia has executed four Shiites convicted on charges of terrorism for attacks against police and participating in protest-related violence with security forces.

The Interior Ministry said the four were executed Tuesday for attacks carried out in the region of Qatif, which is home to the town of al-Awamiya, where there has been a surge in violence since May between Shiite militants and security forces.

On Jan. 2, 2016, the kingdom executed 47 prisoners convicted of various offenses, among them prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who had led protests against the government and its ultraconservative Sunni clerics.

Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s highest rates of execution. Rights groups last month expressed concern that 14 Saudi Shiites face execution for protest-related crimes.

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