Saudi Arabia: Execution of Hussein Abo al-Kheir - Commons Urgent Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:01 pm on 16th March 2023.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench 2:01 pm, 16th March 2023

My Lords, although I recognise the undoubted role that the Minister plays and his undoubted concern, is not the killing of Hussein Abo al-Kheir just part of a shocking pattern that we have seen in Saudi Arabia? Can the Minister confirm that, between 2010 and 2021, at least 1,243 people were executed in Saudi Arabia; that, in 2022, at least 147 people were executed in one of the bloodiest years on record there; and that, on 12 March last year, 81 people were killed in a single day, some of them charged with things such as deviant beliefs? The executions are usually carried out by beheading with a sword and hanging is often performed in public, with decisions taken behind closed doors and court documents forbidden from being published. It even affects minors: a child of 14 was executed. Is the Minister taking this matter up with the United Nations Human Rights Council and talking to Islamic scholars about challenging things that are done under religious statutes?