Stop Barbaric Public Beheadings


Target: The King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman

Goal: Stop the barbaric public beheadings in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia had its 79th public beheading this year with the execution of one of its drug trafficking convicts. The country ranks in the top five executioners in the world.

Amnesty International’s 2014 global report revealed that Saudi Arabia had 87 beheadings in 2014, making this year’s tally of 79 beheadings a huge spike in public executions. Under Saudi Arabia’s version of Sharia law, rape, murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, and apostasy are all punishable by death. They continue to make these executions public despite the outcry from human rights groups across the world.

Saudi Arabian authorities argue that these executions are just and that they act in accordance with Sharia law after a fair trial has been made. This does not seem to hold true, however. Even if it cannot be proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of a crime, it is the judge’s final decision whether the suspect is guilty or not.

Despite saying that only “serious crimes” warrant the death penalty, half of all their executions are for non-lethal crimes such as drug possession. One person was even beheaded after being accused of “witchcraft,” which isn’t even a recognizable criminal offense.

Last year, a juvenile offender, Ali al-Nimr, was sentenced to death even though juvenile offenders are not supposed to be punished with the death penalty. The judge completely ignored the Ali’s torture allegations and was convinced that his handwritten confession was not actually written by him. He also ignored the fact that Ali was never allowed to see a lawyer. This type of injustice is deplorable and should not be allowed to happen.

Saudi Arabia’s use of the death penalty is wrong and not just. Please sign the petition below and urge King Salman to stop these gruesome public beheadings.


Dear King Salman,

Saudi Arabia has already had 79 public executions this year. Compared to the 84 executions your country carried out in 2014, this is deeply troubling.

Saudi Arabia has stated that it has high judicial standards when it comes to the death penalty and that those who wish to end it (such as Amnesty International) are a threat to Islam and Sharia law. This rhetoric is misleading, fuels more hatred towards human rights organizations and the West, and its attempts to convince Saudi Arabians that these beheadings are carrying out justice is wrong.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia should stop treating these beheadings as rightful acts and they should be outlawed immediately. Beheading convicts for non-lethal crimes is outrageous and inhumane.

Please stop the beheadings in your country and find a more humane way to carry out justice.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Cezary Piwowarski

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