Sunday, 3 January 2016

U.S DoS Press Statement: Saudi Executions

Press Statement

John Kirby
Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
January 2, 2016

We have seen the Saudi government's announcement that it executed 47 people.

We have previously expressed our concerns about the legal process in Saudi Arabia and have frequently 
raised these concerns at high levels of the Saudi Government. We reaffirm our calls on the Government 
of Saudi Arabia to respect and protect human rights, and to ensure fair and transparent judicial 
proceedings in all cases.
The United States also urges the Government of Saudi Arabia to permit peaceful expression of dissent 
and to work together with all community leaders to defuse tensions in the wake of these executions.‎

We are particularly concerned that the execution of prominent Shia cleric and political activist 
Nimr al-Nimr risks exacerbating sectarian tensions at a time when they urgently need to be reduced.
In this context, we reiterate the need for leaders throughout the region to redouble efforts aimed at 
de-escalating regional tensions.