(Beirut) – Saudi authorities executed seven young men ages 20 to 24 on the morning of March 13, 2013, allegedly for an armed robbery in 2005. At least two of the seven were under 18 at the time of the alleged crime.

Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry carried out the sentences despite defendants’ claims that security force interrogators coerced them to sign confessions. Saudi authorities had postponed the executions, originally scheduled for March 5, so that the royal court could review the case.

“These executions are yet another example of Saudi Arabia’s complete disregard of international human rights standards,” said Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Saudi authorities need to uphold their human rights obligations and cease these horrifying executions of juvenile offenders.”

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