Victims of this weeks mass execution in Saudi Arabia pleaded with judges their confessions were false and obtained under torture, trial documents have revealed.
Many victims had claimed they were totally innocent and that their confessions had been written by the same people who had tortured them.
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Some also claimed to have evidence of their abuse at the hands of their interrogators.
The Telegraph reports: The kingdom on Tuesday beheaded 37 citizens, nearly all from its Shia minority, with one crucified after death. The United Nations said at least three were minors when charged.
Court documents seen by CNN show that 34 of the men had repeatedly denied the veracity of their confessions to judges trying their case.
Fourteen were convicted of forming a “terror cell” in the city of Awamiya, a Shia heartland in eastern Saudi, after anti-government demonstrations in 2011 and 2012.
Documents from the Awamiya case reveal how the men repeatedly told the court that their admissions were false and had been obtained through torture. In some cases, the suspects said they had provided nothing more than their thumbprints to sign off on confessions which they claimed had been written by their torturers.
“Those aren’t my words,” said one of the accused, Munir al-Adam, during the trial, according to the documents. “I didn’t write a letter. This is defamation written by the interrogator with his own hand.”
The 27-year-old, who was partially blind and deaf, was named as one of the men executed.
Another prisoner, Hussein Mohammed al-Musallam, told the court that he suffered from multiple injuries, including a broken nose, collarbone and leg.
“Nothing in these confessions is correct and I cannot prove that I was forced to do it,” said Musallam.
The Saudi government did not immediately respond to several requests for comment on the allegations of torture and forced confessions laid out in the documents.’
In a statement about the executions, a Saudi official said Tuesday: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has long ago adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorists who spill the blood of the innocent, threaten the national security of the kingdom and distort our great faith.
“The convicted criminals who were executed today had their day in court and were found guilty of very serious crimes.”
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