At UN, Saudi Arabia defends death trials

  • 05/01/2016
Supporters of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr protest against the execution of Shi'ite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia, during a demonstration in Najaf, Iraq (Reuters)
Supporters of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr protest against the execution of Shi'ite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia, during a demonstration in Najaf, Iraq (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia has defended its judicial process at the United Nations, saying that 47 people executed at the weekend had been granted "fair and just trials without any consideration to their intellectual, racial, or sectarian affiliation".

The Saudi UN mission expressed "deep regret" that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had raised concerns about the nature of the charges and fairness of the trials of those executed, which included a prominent Shi'ite Muslim cleric.

The Saudi statement vowed "the independence and impartiality of the judiciary authority" and said state-appointed lawyers were provided to some of the defendants, with appeals in some cases taking up to 10 years.

The kingdom severed ties with Iran after the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr sparked protests in Iran, with demonstrators attacking its consulate.

Reuters / 3 News