Saudi Arabia executes two Bahraini citizens eight years after arrest
The Saudi Interior Ministry claims that Sadiq Thamer and Jaafar Sultan were part of a "terrorist cell".
Saudi Arabia executed two Bahraini citizens, Sadiq Thamer and Jaafar Sultan, for allegedly "joining a terrorist cell," the Saudi Interior Ministry said on Monday.
In a statement, the Ministry said, "The cell is headed by a wanted security guard in the Kingdom of Bahrain" and it is "affiliated with terrorist entities that aim to destabilize the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Bahrain and spread chaos in them."
The two young men were accused of "smuggling materials and capsules used in explosives to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, burying the smuggled materials" in sandy areas, and "handing them over to the cell leader and covering up the places where the explosives are stored," in addition to "hiding personnel wanted by the Kingdom of Bahrain."
In January 2022, the Saudi Arabia Court of Appeal ratified the death sentence of Jaafar Sultan and Sadiq Thamer.
The two young men, from Dar Kulaib, were arrested on May 8, 2015, on King Fahd Causeway. Later, the Saudi authorities charged them with "preparing to blow up the bridge linking to Bahrain."
Sultan and Thamer denied the charges against them and considered them politically motivated, knowing that human rights organizations have documented that they were tortured by Saudi security forces to extract confessions during their arrest.
After Riyadh's decision, demonstrations took place in Dar Kulaib, a Bahraini village, rejecting "Saudi's unjust execution against the people of the village."
Death sentences are not carried out except with the approval of the Saudi King, after which the rulings are confirmed by the Supreme Court.
Riyadh executed more people in 2022 than the two previous combined, 81 of which were executed in a single day last March, "the largest mass execution in Saudi Arabia's history," said the European Saudi Human Rights organization ESOHR in a report published in January.
According to the organization, death penalty sentences in the Kingdom between 2020 and 2022 hiked by 444% as the Gulf country continues with its "arbitrariness in issuing sentences, contradicting official promises, in parallel with complete disregard for international recommendations and criticism."