Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (25 April) on the execution of 37 Saudi Arabian citizens:
I am deeply shocked by reports from Saudi Arabia that 37 people have been executed. The German Government and I take a clear and completely unambiguous stance on the death penalty, namely that it is a cruel and inhumane form of punishment that we reject at all times and in all circumstances. When the death penalty is carried out, I express my criticism openly and unambiguously, regardless of which country is concerned. We have expressed this view repeatedly and at all levels to the Saudi Arabia leadership and will continue to do so.
These executions unfortunately increase the trend in Saudi Arabia towards an ever-growing number of executions. Reports that those executed included people who were minors at the time of the crime of which they were accused are a cause of particular concern. This violates the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Saudi Arabia has acceded in principle. I thus call on the Saudi Arabian leadership to uphold the country’s most recent Child Protection Act and to review and overturn death sentences that have already been handed down.