Saudi Arabia Says it Executed 81 People in Single Day

    Image copyright: Getty Images [via The National]

    The Facts

    • Saudi Arabia reportedly executed 81 people on Sat, the kingdom's largest mass execution in its modern history.

    • 73 Saudis, seven Yemenis, and one Syrian were executed for a range of crimes, including terrorism.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, has constantly promised reform, but has not done anything to show that this is the case. Saudi Arabia continues to torture prisoners and target the Shi'ite community.

    Narrative B

    The people executed were criminals convicted of heinous crimes -- including kidnap, torture, and planning to kill large numbers of civilians -- and they were given fair trials. Saudi Arabia has a strict and unwavering stance against terrorists that threaten the kindgom's stability.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The US is largely to blame. They've allowed, and even enabled, Saudi Arabia to get away with far too much; first Khashoggi and the war in Yemen, and now this. America is contributing to a destabilized Middle East by cozying up to the Kingdom. It's time to take a firm stance, or their condemnation of Putin means nothing.

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