Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah has condemned the latest execution of over 80 prisoners in a single day in Saudi Arabia, saying it brings to the fore the true face of the Saudi regime, which practices the ugliest forms of sectarian discrimination.
“This regime wears the dress of Islam, but is actually at the service of the Zionist project. All the treason which was committed by the Persian Gulf Arab states would not have been possible without the endorsement of Saudi Arabia,” Hezbollah said in a statement on Sunday, a day after the Saudi regime executed as many as 81 prisoners over “terror-related offenses”, presstv reported.
The largest mass execution carried out by the highly-conservative Arab kingdom in recent memory unleashed a strong wave of condemnation from an array of Islamic and Saudi opposition groups, which said most of those executed had been jailed only for exercising their right to free expression of opinion.
Hezbollah said the ruling Al Saud regime has committed a heinous crime against the oppressed people of the Arab Peninsula.
“This is an additional crime in the criminal record of the Saudi regime, which has always committed killings and bloodshed,” Hezbollah said.
This criminal record extends from Yemen to Iraq, to Syria, to Lebanon, and all Arab and Muslim countries, Hezbollah added.
The resistance movement called on all religious figures, clerics and international organizations to denounce the “terrorist regime”.
The 2022 executions exceeded the total number of Saudi Arabia’s punishments by death throughout last year.
The kingdom’s last mass execution occurred in early January 2016, when Saudi authorities executed 47 people, including prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir Al-Nimr, who had vociferously called for democracy in the kingdom and advocated anti-regime protests. Nimr had been arrested in Qatif, Eastern Province, in 2012.
Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has reportedly executed more than 900 prisoners in an increasing rate. In 2019 alone, Saudi Arabia set a record number of executions after authorities executed 184 people, despite a general decrease in the number of executions around the world.
In April 2020, Reprieve, a UK-based non-profit organization, said Saudi Arabia had carried out its 800th execution. The report added that executions had almost doubled in only five years in comparison with the 423 executions conducted in Saudi Arabia from 2009 through 2014.
Eastern Province, which is largely populated by the Shia minority, has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region. The protests have met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime.
Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to target activism.
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– Thousands of people took to the streets in Yemen’s Northwestern city of Sa’ada and elsewhere on Friday to condemn the Saudi-led coalition’s military aggression and brutal siege on the Arab country.
Marking the ‘National Day of Cry in the Face of Aggressors’, demonstrators took part in a massive rally in Sa’ada to reaffirm their resolve to continue their spirited resistance until the logical end, presstv reported.
The participants waved Yemen’s national flag and chanted vociferous slogans such as “Death to America”, “Death to House of Saud”, and “Death to Israel” while expressing rage and indignation over the Saudi-led coalition’s continued atrocities and crimes in Yemen.
“The slogan ‘Cry in the Face of Aggressors’ shattered the lengthy silence on domestic issues and exposed the conspiracies of enemies. It had an instrumental role in preserving the religious identity of Yemen,” the protesters said in a joint communiqué.
“The Yemeni nation must carry out its duties and mobilize forces en masse against enemies. We urge freedom-loving people in the Saudi-occupied Yemeni territories to stand up against coalition forces and their mercenaries, and expel them from their local communities,” they added.
The statement warned the foreign military coalition against persisting with its aggression, and emphasized that Yemen will “remain a free and independent country”.
“We warn of the danger of normalization with the Zionist enemy, and reiterate our full preparedness to side with the axis of resistance in the fight against the oppression of the Palestinian nation,” it further noted.
Elsewhere in the capital city of Sana’a, people carried Yemeni flags as well as pictures of former and current Ansarullah leaders, Hussein Badreddin Al-Houthi and Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi.
They chanted slogans against Saudi crimes in the country, and reaffirmed resolve to continue their determined resistance.
The development came as the United Nations announced that the truce between the warring Yemeni sides had been extended for two more months.
The initial two-month truce started at the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan on April 2 and was set to expire on Thursday.
“I would like to announce that the parties to the conflict have agreed to the United Nations’ proposal to renew the current truce in Yemen for two additional months,” UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg said.
Grundberg added that the truce extension would come into effect “when the current truce period expires, today June 2, 2022, at 19:00 Yemen time (1600 GMT)”.
“The announcement of the truce extension today shows a serious commitment from all parties to end the senseless suffering of millions of Yemenis,” the Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) Yemen Country Director, Erin Hutchinson, said in a statement after the announcement.
“The last two months have shown that peaceful solutions to the conflict are a real option,” he added.
Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states.
The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.
While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet any of its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
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