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Saudi executions target Shia critics

The announcement that 37 men had been executed for terrorism-related crimes – one of them crucified ‘as a deterrent’ – shocked swathes of international opinion and surprised analysts who had seen the senior leadership recently cultivating leaders in Eastern Province, home of the kingdom’s Shiite minority. Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman visited in late March and King Salman received a delegation from the region on 1 April, along with Eastern Province governor Prince Saud Bin Nayef and his deputy (and royal grandson) Prince Ahmed Bin Fahd Bin Salman – after which some financial criminals from the region were pardonned.

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