The West condemns IS-beheadings, but remain silent when Saudi Arabia does the same

The West condemns IS-beheadings, but remain silent when Saudi Arabia does the same
- We lose credibility in the Arab world when we on one hand condemn the Islamic state, and on the other side keep silent on human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, Gerald Kador Folkvord, which is a political advisor at Amnesty International, says.

The Islamic state (IS) has aroused indignation and condemnation from around the world after they have beheaded both opponents and western hostages. At the same time one of the West's closest allies in the area, Saudi Arabia, has executed at least one person a day, often by public beheadings. Now Saudi Arabia is attending the US-led military campaign against IS.

Authorities are completely silent when it comes to human rights violations in Saudi Arabia. It is a paradox that governments criticizes countries like Iran, while they are silent about our own ally. Thus perceive people that we talk with two tongues, Folkvord says.

In August it was reported that Saudi Arabia had set a new decapitation record. According to Al-Jazeera, the country had doubled the public executions for the past seven months prior to August.

According to Amnesty, Saudi Arabia executed more than 2.000 people in the period of 1985 - 2013. A number of executions have been carried out by public beheadings, and people have been sentenced to death for offenses including adultery, apostasy from the Islamic faith, drug trafficking, rape, witchcraft and wizardry.

- Most likely the number is much higher, but these are the cases that Amnesty has been able to document, Folkvord says.

Just between the 4th and 22nd of August more than 22 people were beheaded - more than one person each day. For example, four members of the same family were publicly beheaded on August 14th for smuggling of hashish. The next day a person was executed for witchcraft, according to Al-Jazeera.

- Although it is not possible to compare Saudi Arabia and IS, there are similarities in terms of execution methods. Among other things, Saudi Arabia allows bodies to remain as a warning. In addition, several of Saudi Arabia's victims is as innocent as IS's victims, Folkvord says.

Saudi Arabia is also one of few countries that condemn minors to death. He also notes that several of the defendants are being tortured to make them confess.

- Most people who are convicted are foreigners, and they do not understand what is being said during the trial, he says.

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