Saudi Arabia looms to execute more than 50 people, found guilty of terrorism according to the Saudi law, in a single day. The move was immediately slammed by Amnesty International, which said the Saudis are “using the guise of counter-terrorism to settle political scores.” In the west It’s Black Shopping Friday and there were undoubtedly violent incidents that went viral like depicting shoppers brazenly gunning for that $99 flatscreen at Wal-Mart
The information about executions was recently released in Saudi media, which said that up to 55 ‘Al-Qaeda terrorists’ and ‘criminals’ from the town of Awamiyya will be executed in the next few days. However, it hasn’t been specified when and how exactly the executions will take place. Awamiya, in Eastern Province where the authorities suppressed protests in 2011, has a predominantly Shiite population. According to sources, the executions may be carried out after Friday prayers.
Among the five activists named in the mothers’ appeal are juvenile offenders Ali al-Nimr, Abdullah al-Zaher and Dawood Hussein al-Marhoon. Amnesty International has campaigned for their death sentences to be quashed, because of credible allegations they were tortured and had grossly unfair trials at the Specialized Criminal Court, which is used in counter-terrorism cases. International law prohibits the use of the death penalty against anyone under the age of 18.
Besides Amnesty International campaigning on their behalf, a group of UN experts and the European Parliament have both urged Saudi Arabia to halt the execution of Ali al-Nimr. The UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has publicly stated he does “not expect [Ali] al-Nimr to be executed”.
— Judyth Mermelstein (@GadflyQuebec) 27 Novembre 2015
— Lewis Dartnell (@lewis_dartnell) 27 Novembre 2015
Reuters cited the Saudi Okaz newspaper as saying these 55 people are accused of sedition, attacks on security officials, and attempts to overthrow the government and carry out attacks by using explosives and surface-to-air missiles. According to Okaz, those on death row have killed more than 100 civilians and 71 security personnel.
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One of the prisoners is accused of attempting to buy nuclear material in Yemen worth $1.5 million for use inside Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi plan has been slammed by Amnesty, which said that executing dozens of people “in a single day would mark a dizzying descent to yet another outrageous low for Saudi Arabia.”
“Saudi Arabia’s macabre spike in executions this year, coupled with the secretive and arbitrary nature of court decisions and executions in the kingdom, leave us no option but to take these latest warning signs very seriously,” said James Lynch, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.
Earlier the mothers of five teenagers who are among those on death row implored King Salman to show clemency.
“The sentences handed down to our children are unique in the history of Saudi justice,” the statement from the mothers said.
“They were based on confessions extracted under torture, trials that barred them from accessing defense counsel, and judges that displayed bias towards the prosecution.”
This year has seen a sharp increase in the number of executions in the Kingdom. About 150 people have already been put to death. This is already a 26-percent increase on 2014.
The number of executions in 2015 is catching up with the Kingdom’s all-time annual record of 192, which was documented by Amnesty International in 1995. The watchdog has been scathing of the Kingdom’s human rights record, saying they “fall far short” of global norms.
On the other hand, according to Nydailynews.com brawls broke out at Walmart retail stores and other shopping centers across the country on Thursday evening, the official start of “Black Friday.”
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) 27 Novembre 2015
For instance, at a Louisville mall on Thanksgiving night, shoppers wrestled each other to the ground in a packed food court. The fracas knocked a woman to the floor as shoppers at Mall St. Matthews gawked at the sight of two unidentified men slapping, punching and tearing at each other’s shirts. Wal-Mart’s website was overloaded with demand which slowed online checkout for some shoppers, said company executives.
Black Friday Fights! pic.twitter.com/To7Y30O6u4
— Mr.Insomne (@JuanMicroGaliza) 26 Novembre 2015
Walmart.com did “slow down for a little bit when customers were checking out,” saidSteve Bratspies, the company’s new chief merchant, in an interview. “The vast majority had no issues,” shopping the site, he said. More people shopped online this Thanksgiving versus last, he said.
In the UK, even if British don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, they have enthusiastically embraced another great American holiday tradition:Black Friday. A little too enthusiastically, it seems. Now, some retailers are even trying to dial back some of the frenzy they unleashed just a few years after introducing the whole idea.
At one flagship Asda store in northwest London, part of a retail chain owned by Walmart, one young woman was seen on the floor, desperately clinging to a 40-inch discounted television as several teenagers tried to grab it away.