(ASSOCIATED PRESS) Seven Saudi men convicted of theft, looting and armed robbery were beheaded on Wednesday, according to the country’s official news agency, more than a week after their families and a rights group appealed to the king for clemency.
The executions took place in Abha, a city in the southern region of Asir, the Saudi Press Agency said. The south has been marginalized and suffered discrimination by the powerful central region where the capital, Riyadh, and the holy shrines of Mecca and Medina are located.
The seven were arrested in 2006 and received death sentences in 2009, a Saudi newspaper reported at the time. The case was back in focus after Human Rights Watch earlier this month called for the sentences to be canceled because the men were juveniles at the time of their arrest.