Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Keith Preston: Saudi beheadings highlight barbarian nature of regime

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The beheading of 37 Saudi nationals across the kingdom this week underscored once again that Saudi Arabia is “one of the most reactionary and retrograde states” in the world today, says an American political analyst in Virginia.

“The idea that Saudi Arabia still engages in beheadings and crucifixions indicates that this is a society whose culture has not evolved in thousands of years,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of

“This is a very backward and retrograde society by any standard,” Preston told Press TV on Thursday.

“This shows what a barbarian society that Saudi Arabia is, or at least it shows what a barbarian society the Saud elite and ruling class are; this is one of the most tyrannical regimes on earth,” he added.

On Tuesday, the Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by state-run media that it had put 37 citizens to death for their alleged “adoption of extremist, terrorist ideology and forming terrorist cells to corrupt and disturb security, spread chaos and cause sectarian discord.”

Reports said the beheaded body of one of the victims, Khaled bin Abdel Karim al-Tuwaijri, was attached to a pole for several hours. 

Adam Coogle, who monitors Saudi Arabia for Human Rights Watch, said at least 33 of those executed were Saudi Shias, noting that some of the victims had been convicted based on confessions made under torture.

World leaders and several human rights organizations have expressed shock and condemnation over the mass execution.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a statement issued in Geneva on Wednesday that most of those beheaded were minority Shia Muslims. She also voiced concern about a lack of due process and fair trial in the kingdom amid allegations that confessions were obtained through torture.

PressTV-Mass beheadings by Saudi draw global condemnation

PressTV-Mass beheadings by Saudi draw global condemnationWorld leaders and several human rights organizations have expressed shock and condemnation over Saudi Arabia’s mass execution of nearly 40 people in a single day.

Riyadh had already come under increasing global scrutiny over its human rights record since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, and its devastating war against Yemen.

According to a December 2018 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.  

“What’s particularly shameful is the relationship that the United States and other Western countries have with Saudi Arabia; in international relations, Saudi Arabia should rightfully be considered a pariah state,” Preston noted.

“We see a nation like Saudi Arabia receives massive shipments of armaments from the West, we see that Saudi Arabia has a favorite position with the West in the international petroleum industry, we see that Saudi Arabia is considered to be a major world economic power, Saudi Arabia even has a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council,” Preston added.

“So we see what a sham this is when we see the Western powers condemning the lack of democracy or lack of respect for human rights in some countries and yet at the same time showing so much sympathy and so much toleration to Saudi Arabia.”

1 reply »

  1. What establishes that the Saudis are barbarians isn’t the method they use for executions, beheadings, but the reasons they purportedly use to justify those executions.

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