Saudi Arabia’s Mission to the UN said that all 47 people, who had been executed by Riyadh over terrorism charges, received fair trials without consideration of sectarian affiliation.
On Saturday, demonstrators in Iran, protesting the execution by Saudi Arabia of prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr and 46 others, attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran and the consulate in Mashhad. Following the attack, Saudi Arabia announced it would sever diplomatic ties with Iran.
Soon after the executions were announced, UN Secretary-General Ban-ki moon said that the case raised serious concerns “over the nature of the charges and the fairness of the process.” He also was “deeply worried” over the break in Saudi-Iranian diplomatic relations.
“Those who were convicted…and subsequently executed were subject to all judicial guaranties and have unconditionally enjoyed all judicial warrants such as the right to having fair and public trials, being represented by a lawyer or a lawyer appointed by the state for whoever could not retain a lawyer, and a fair trial through all litigation stages up to courts of appeal and cassation,” the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the UN said in a statement on Monday.
The mission added that it expressed regret over Ban’s statement, adding that “some of those cases took up to ten years” before the executions were performed in accordance with the Saudi law.
Saudi Arabia, among the world’s top state executioners, has stepped up prosecution of terrorism-related crimes in early 2014. Over 150 people executed in 2015 constituted the highest recorded figure in two decades, according to Amnesty International.