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Coronavirus: What sporting events are affected by the pandemic? | News

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The outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which as of July 30, has killed more than 667,000 people globally, has affected sporting events across the world, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide has surged past 17 million, major sporting events have been cancelled or postponed.

The most significant one that was due to take place in Japan this summer was the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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However, the International Olympic Committee and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have postponed the event to next year, where it will now take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021.

Football

In South Korea, the football league season restarted on May 8 after several weeks of postponement, with reigning champions Jeonbuk Motors hosting Suwon Bluewings in an empty World Cup Stadium in Jeonju.

In Germany, the top-flight Bundesliga resumed its season on May 16 behind closed doors after a two-month hiatus. 

The English Premier League, Italy’s Serie A, Spanish La Liga and Turkey’s Super Lig are set to resume in June after a near three-month suspension. 

The Major League Soccer (MLS) top-tier football league in the US has extended its postponement of matches in the country until at least June 8 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On April 12, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced the postponement of the two-legged semi-finals of the African Champions League that were supposed to take place in May.

“In light of growing concerns and evolving nature on COVID-19 (that has led to a) lockdown in most countries, the CAF Emergency Committee has decided to postpone the matches until further notice,” a statement said.

The CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Nations League Finals, which were scheduled for June 4 to June 7, have been suspended. The finals, due to be contested by Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and the United States and held in the Houston and Dallas areas of Texas, will be rescheduled for a later date in venues to be determined.

Football in Russia has also been suspended. The Russian Football Union agreed to immediately suspend all competitions at a meeting on March 17.

The postponed Belgian Cup final has been rescheduled for August 1. That is one week before the start of the league’s next season.

The African Nations Championship 2020  tournament scheduled for April in Cameroon has been postponed indefinitely, the African Football Federation said in a statement on March 17.

This year’s Copa America has been postponed until 2021, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said on March 17. The 12-team tournament had originally been scheduled to take place from June 12 to July 12 in Colombia and Argentina.

The Euro 2020 tournament has been postponed until 2021, European football’s governing body UEFA said in a statement on March 17. UEFA said that the 24-team tournament, which was due to be staged in 12 nations across the continent from June 12 to July 12 this year, would now take place from June 11 to July 11, 2021. 

On April 23, UEFA also postponed the Euro 2021 Women’s championship, and it will now be played in England from July 6 to July 31, in the same venues that were originally proposed to host the event. 

The women’s football league in England has been cancelled.

Europa League match between Inter Milan and Ludogorets was played in an empty stadium in Milan, Italy [Emilio Andreoli/Reuters]

UEFA on April 1 suspended all Champions League and Europa League matches “until further notice”.

All national team games scheduled for June have also been postponed.

FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation have agreed to postpone the Asian World Cup qualifying matches in March and June.

New seasons in the Chinese and Japanese professional leagues have been postponed.

Asian Champions League matches involving Chinese clubs Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG have been postponed. The start of the knockout rounds has been moved back to September.

The Confederation of African Football has postponed two rounds of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers scheduled for March 25-31.

An exhibition match between Mexico and Colombia on May 30 at Denver has been cancelled.

The rest of the Dutch football league has been cancelled and leading team Ajax will not be declared the champion.

Marathons

The London Marathon, which was scheduled to take place on April 26, has been postponed until October 4.

The Boston Marathon, originally scheduled for April 20 and later postponed for five months, has been cancelled for the first time in its 124-year history. 

Organisers said on May 28, that they instead will stage a “virtual event” in which participants who verify that they ran 26.2 miles on their own will receive their finisher’s medal.

Amsterdam, Paris and Barcelona marathons have also been postponed. 

In Japan on March 1, the Tokyo Marathon, which usually attracts 300,000 participants, was restricted to only 200 elite runners.

Runners start at the Tokyo Marathon in Tokyo, Japan

Combination photos show how runners fill the street at the start of the Tokyo Marathon 2019 in Tokyo, Japan in this March 3, 2019, right, and runners start at the Tokyo Marathon 2020 in Tokyo, Japan on March 1, 2020 [Kyodo/via Reuters]

Olympic Games

The International Olympic Committee and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have concluded the Tokyo 2020 Olympics must be postponed.    

The decision was made after holding out for weeks as local organisers and the IOC came under increasing pressure from athletes, national Olympic bodies and sports federations.

The event will now take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021. 

Athletics

The traditional Berlin athletics meeting, ISTAF, will not take place without spectators later this year if coronavirus restrictions remain in place, organisers have said. The 79th edition of the event is scheduled for September 13, but meeting director Martin Seeber said he is planning a potential cancellation and wants a decision by mid-June.

The World Athletics Championships scheduled to take place in Oregon in August 2021 have been pushed back to July 2022 to avoid clashing with the rescheduled Olympic Games, the sport’s governing body said on April 8. 

The Diamond League postponed its first five meetings of the 2020 season due to be held in April and May in Qatar, China, Stockholm, Naples and Rabat.

World Athletics said in a statement that it “approved the new dates this week after extensive discussions with the sport’s stakeholders.”

The World Athletics Indoor Championships, scheduled for Nanjing from March 13-15, have been postponed until next year.

The World Para Athletics European Championships scheduled to take place in Poland, from June 2-7, has been postponed to 2021. 

Formula One

Formula One plans to start its season behind closed doors in Austria from July 3-5, followed by the British Grand Prix at Silverstone under similar conditions, but has yet to publish a revised calendar.

The Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix, which was scheduled originally for August 2, can only take place without spectators, organisers said.

The Dutch Grand Prix will have to wait one more year to return to the Formula One circuit after organisers said the race postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic will not take place in 2020.

The race – the fourth to be cancelled this year – at the seaside circuit would have been the country’s first since 1985.

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix scheduled for June 7 has been postponed. 

Formula One cancelled the season-opening Australian GP after a McLaren team member contracted the coronavirus. The race was scheduled to take place on March 15. 

The Bahrain Grand Prix and the Vietnam Grand Prix have been postponed. Those events were first scheduled to take place on March 20-22 and April 3-5 respectively.

Sports Pictures of the Year

The Bahrain Grand Prix in Manama was due to be held without fans before organisers decided to postpone the race [File: Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters]

The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, which was scheduled to take place on April 19, was also postponed. 

The Monaco Grand Prix scheduled for May 21 was cancelled by the organisers on March 19. 

Formula One Canadian Grand Prix organisers announced on April 7 that the race in Montreal that was supposed to kick off the 2020 World Championship calendar will be postponed until further notice. 

The French Grand Prix scheduled for June 28 at Le Castellet has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers said on April 27.

Three Formula One Grand Prix, in Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan, have been scrapped this season because of the coronavirus pandemic, a Formula One statement said on June 12.

Racing

The Indianapolis 500 scheduled for May 24 has been postponed until August 23 and will not run on Memorial Day weekend for the first time since 1946.

The French MotoGP initially scheduled for May 15-17 in Le Mans, was postponed because of the “ongoing coronavirus outbreak”, organisers announced on April 2.

Japan will not have a MotoGP round for the first time since 1986 after organisers cancelled the October 18 race at Motegi.

Tennis

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said 900 tournaments across all its circuits had been postponed and that it was furloughing half its staff.

The 2020 Wimbledon tennis championships have been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the All England Club announced on April 1.

It is the first time the championships, due to take place between June 28 and July 11, have been called off since World War II.

The professional tennis tour – men’s and women’s – has been suspended until at least the end of July, with all clay-court tournaments in Europe cancelled. ATP and WTA rankings have been frozen until further notice. 

The French Open has been postponed until September 20 – October 4, organisers said on March 17. The clay-court major was originally scheduled to be played from May 24-June 7.

There was also disappointment for tennis fans in California as the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells was cancelled.

Also cancelled were the Xi’an Open, scheduled for April 13 to 19, and Kunming Open, pencilled for April 27 to May 3. Both events were to take place in China.

Boxing

The world boxing heavyweight title fight between Briton Anthony Joshua and the IBF’s mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria originally scheduled for June 20 has been postponed, promoters said.

The Tokyo Olympic boxing qualifiers for Asia and Oceania were moved to Jordan from China.

However, the European, American and final world qualifying boxing tournaments for the Olympic Games have been suspended, the International Olympic Committee said.

Briton Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title defence against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev would probably take place at the end of the year instead of June 20 at Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium in London as scheduled.

Football matches resume in Costa Rica as virus curbs ease

Basketball

Europe’s top two club basketball competitions have terminated the current season without naming any winners due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers EuroLeague Basketball said on May 25. 

“Having explored every possible option, the Executive Board has made the decision to cancel the 2019-20 EuroLeague and EuroCup,” the organising body said on its official Twitter account.

The 2020-21 EuroLeague and EuroCup seasons will start on October 1 and September 30 respectively, said the statement, which added that the same 18 teams that contested this season’s EuroLeague would also compete in the next campaign.

“Without a doubt, this is the most difficult decision we have had to take in our 20-year history,” said EuroLeague’s president and chief executive Jordi Bertomeu.

On May 19, the German basketball league (BBL) has been given permission by the regional Bavarian government to conclude its season  with a 10-team tournament in Munich’s Audi Dome in the first weekend of June.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) said on March 11 that it was suspending the season until further notice after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the virus. On June 26, the NBA announced the season will restart on July 30.

The WNBA draft will be a virtual event this year. The women’s league announced that its draft will still be held on April 17 as originally scheduled, but without players, fans or media in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) postponed the 2020 regular season as coronavirus continues spreading rapidly across the US and the world.

“As developments continue to emerge around the COVID-19 pandemic, including the extension of the social distancing guidelines in the United States through April 30, the WNBA will postpone the start of its training camps and the tip of the regular season originally scheduled for May 15,” the WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement late Friday.

“While the league continues to use this time to conduct scenario-planning regarding new start dates and innovative formats, our guiding principle will continue to be the health and safety of the players, fans and employees,” she added.

Rugby

World Rugby’s governing body announced on May 15 it has postponed all test matches scheduled for July due to travel curbs and health protocols implemented to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

It was too early to determine whether matches in the November window would be affected at this stage, it added, with a decision contingent on advice from governments and health organisations.

In France, the country’s rugby federation said on March 13 that it was suspending all of its competitions due to the outbreak.

At least three Six Nations matches have been postponed.

The women’s Six Nations game between Scotland and France was postponed after a Scottish player tested positive for coronavirus.

The Singapore and Hong Kong legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series have been postponed from April to October.

The first England-Australia rugby league series in 17 years has been canceled. England was to play Australia at Bolton on October 31, at Leeds on November 7, and for the first time at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on November 14.

MotoGP

The opening two rounds of the season in Qatar, which were scheduled for March 6-8, did not go ahead. The Thailand race, due to be held on March 22, has been postponed.

April rounds in Texas and Argentina have been pushed back to November. 

The Spanish Grand Prix scheduled for May 3 has also been postponed. It is the fifth MotoGP race to be cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus. 

Table tennis

The world championships in Busan, South Korea, have been pushed back provisionally from March to June. 

The April 21 to 26 World Tour Japan Open in Kitakyushu has been postponed.

Golf

On May 14, the PGA Tour said testing for the novel coronavirus and daily temperature checks will be a mandatory feature of the return of professional golf in the US on June 11 with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas. 

The Saudi Ladies International, the first women’s professional golf event to be staged in Saudi Arabia, has been rescheduled for October 8-11 after it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers have confirmed.

The 2020 Masters Tournament has been provisionally rescheduled for November 12-15, Augusta National Golf Club has said.

The 149th Open Championship due to be played at Royal St George’s from July 16-19 has been cancelled. “The R&A has decided to cancel The Open in 2020 due to the current Covid-19 pandemic,” the governing body said in a statement, adding that “the Championship will next be played at Royal St George’s in 2021”.

South Korea women golf

The KLPGA Championship at the Lakewood Country Club in Yangju, South Korea was held without spectators [Lee Jin-man/AP]

The Trophee Hassan II in Morocco from June 4-7 was postponed and the Scandinavian Mixed tournament in Stockholm was cancelled and will now be played in 2021.

The Honda LPGA Thailand event and the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore have been cancelled.

The Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur and the China Open have been postponed.

The Indian and China opens have both been postponed.

The Evian Masters women’s golf tournament has been moved to August.

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open announced on March 30 that it would be postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The European Tour confirmed that the event, scheduled for 28-31 May at Mount Juliet, has been postponed following “consultation with all stakeholders”.

The US Women’s Open at Champions Golf Club in Houston has been postponed from the end of spring to mid-December.

Cycling

The road cycling European championships scheduled for September in the Italian province of Trentino have been postponed by a year, the Union Europeenne de Cyclisme (UEC) said on May 3.

The three-week Tour de France, scheduled for June 27, will now start on August 29 and will finish on September 20.

The Tour could not start as scheduled in the Riviera city of Nice because French President Emmanuel Macron cancelled all public events with large crowds through mid-July in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Top one-day cycling races Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege have been postponed, organisers said on March 17. Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, which were due to be held on April 12 and 26 respectively, are two of the five “Monument” races of the cycling calendar with the Tour of Flanders, Milan-Sanremo and the Tour of Lombardy.

The Tour of Flanders and Milan-Sanremo have already been postponed. A new date has yet to be set for the races.

The final two stages of the UAE Tour were cancelled after two Italian participants tested positive for the coronavirus.

Four teams have pulled out of several cycling races in Italy.

The Giro d’Italia start on May 9 in Budapest has been postponed. A new start date will not be determined until at least April 3.

Meanwhile, British Cycling will furlough around a third of its staff in April and May due to the financial impact of the pandemic. 

On April 13, the Turkish Cycling Federation announced all cycling competitions to be held in Turkey until June have been postponed.

All scheduled activities until June 6 are postponed to a later date because of the coronavirus pandemic. New racing calendar will be announced later, the federation said in a statement.

Baseball

The final qualification tournament for the Olympics in Taiwan has been postponed from April to June.

South Korea’s professional league reopened its new season on May 5 in empty stadiums after more than a month-long delay.

Major League Baseball (MLB), the US’s professional baseball league, suspended its “spring training”, a period in the off-season that features practices and exhibition games that allow trainers to test new players on different teams.

The MLB also delayed its opening day, which was scheduled for March 26. 

MLB games scheduled to be played in Mexico City and San Juan, Puerto Rico, are cancelled. 

corona social cards

 

NCAA

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) cancelled scheduled games for both men and women on Thursday afternoon.

The NCAA organises all sports for athletes in university, an important league that showcases young talent to recruiters for professional sports in the US. 

The cancellation extends to all championships scheduled in the spring, including hockey, baseball and lacrosse.

Cricket

New Zealand’s test tour of Bangladesh, which was due to take place in August, has been postponed due to health and safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) said on June 23. 

England’s two-match test series in Sri Lanka, which has been postponed and rescheduled for January next year, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) CEO Ashley de Silva said. England were scheduled to play tests in Galle and Colombo in March before the coronavirus outbreak.

The men’s Cricket World Cup Challenge League A, scheduled to begin on March 16 in Malaysia, has been postponed.

The start of the Indian Premier League T20 tournament (March 29) was postponed until April 15.

The Pakistan Cricket Board announced that Pakistan Super League matches in Karachi will be played with no spectators in the stadium.

England’s two-match test series in Sri Lanka scheduled to start on March 19 was postponed.

Australia’s proposed test tour of Bangladesh in June has been postponed and both boards will work together to find new dates to reschedule the series.

Judo

The International Judo Federation cancelled all Olympic qualification events through to the end of April.

Weightlifting

The Asian Championships, scheduled to take place in Uzbekistan from April 16 to 25, have been cancelled.

Coronavirus: S Korea baseball league reopens in empty stadiums

Winter sports

The International Ski Federation cancelled the final races of the men’s Alpine skiing World Cup.

The World Cup finals in Cortina were cancelled along with the last three women’s races in Are.

The women’s world ice hockey championships in Canada were cancelled.

The Ice Hockey World Championship scheduled for Switzerland in May was cancelled.

The speed skating world championships in Seoul were postponed until at least October.

The March 16-22 world figure skating championships in Montreal were cancelled.

The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) has cancelled the remainder of its season after temporarily suspending its playoffs.

Australian Rules

The AFL game between St Kilda Saints and Port Adelaide Power scheduled for May 31 in China has been moved to Melbourne.

NHL 

The National Hockey League, primarily based in the US but with teams from Canada, suspended its season indefinitely on March 12. On July 10, the league announced it will restart the season starting August 1. 

Wrestling

The Asian Olympic qualifying event from March 27-29 was moved from Xi’an, China to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

On February 29, Kyrgyzstan withdrew as host.

Horse racing 

The Dubai World Cup, one of the world’s richest horse races and a premier annual sporting event in the United Arab Emirates, scheduled for March 28, has been postponed to next year, Dubai’s government media office tweeted on March 22.

The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby has been moved to September 5. It will be the first time the world-renowned horse race will not run on the first Saturday in May since 1945, when it was moved because of World World II.

INTERACTIVE: Economic impact of COVID19 - May 17 2020

Estimated revenue losses of various sports [Alia Chughtai/Al Jazeera]

Badminton

The final qualification tournament in Taiwan for the Olympics was put back from April to June 17-21, while the March 22-26 qualification event in Arizona was postponed.

Japan’s professional league postponed the start of the season.

Badminton’s Thomas and Uber Cup Finals being staged in Aarhus, Denmark, have been postponed from May 16-24 to August 15-23.

The biennial event features national teams.

The 2021 badminton World Championships will move from its August slot and begin in late November to avoid a clash with the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics next year, the game’s governing body said on May 1.

The tournament will be held from November 29 to December 5 in the Spanish city of Huelva, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said in a statement.

Sumo

The Summer Grand Sumo Tournament has been postponed by two weeks from its scheduled May 10 start due to concerns over the coronavirus, according to the Japan Sumo Association.

The annual 15-day tournament at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan is one of the six major sumo contests held in Japan every year. The Tokyo tournament is now scheduled to start on May 24, with the next competition to be held in Aichi Prefecture also delayed for two weeks.

Paralympics

The postponed Paralympic Games will run from August 24-September 5, 2021.

Canoeing

All events originally scheduled for May, including the Paracanoe World Championships, canoe sprint Olympic qualifiers, and the ICF canoe sprint World Cup have been cancelled.

Pre-Olympic canoe slalom training camps in Tokyo in May, June and July have all been cancelled.

The opening two ICF canoe slalom World Cups, set for June in Italy and France, have been postponed.

Swimming

The short course world championships, scheduled for December in Abu Dhabi, will now be staged from December 13-18, 2021, in the United Arab Emirates. 

The 2021 aquatics world championships in Fukuoka, Japan, will now be held from May 13-29, 2022, swimming’s governing body FINA said in a statement on May 4.

Canada’s Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic swimming trials have been rescheduled for next April, Swimming Canada said.

The trials, originally set for March 30 to April 5 in Toronto, were postponed on March 13 as part of efforts to control the spread of the novel coronavirus. They were rescheduled after the International Olympic Committee and Japan organisers postponed the 2020 Summer Games for one year.

The meet will be held at the same venue, the Toronto Pan Am Sports centre, but will be condensed into a five-day program from the seven days originally planned.





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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FDC activists win Bank of Uganda pig case by simply keeping quiet

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FDC activists Augustine Ojobile and Robert Mayanja

Buganda Road Magistrate’s court has acquitted two opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) activists Augustine Ojobile and Robert Mayanja of common nuisance charges.

FDC deputy chief administrative officer Ojobile and Mayanja have been acquitted by the grade one magistrate Fidelis Otwao on charges stemming from their protest held in November 2018 when they carried pig heads to the central police station (CPS) in Kampala protesting the rot in the Bank of Uganda that had reportedly resulted into the closure of a number of commercial banks in the country for many years.


According to them, corruption at the Central bank had been the sole ingredient for the closure of commercial banks in Uganda over the years because it reportedly mismanaged them and made erroneous decisions that led to their closure.

With fresh pig heads tied around their necks and stinking blood oozing across their white T-shirts, Mayanja and Ojobile walked through the streets of Kampala to the police in a protest that was spearheaded by their pressure group known as the Jobless Youth.

One pig head had a placard bearing the name of the former and late BOU governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile and the other of his former deputy Louis Kasekende.

The protest at CPS came a few days after another that was staged at the Central bank where two piglets were dumped bearing the name of Juma Kisaame (a Muslim), the former managing director of DFCU bank. 

As a result, the duo was arrested and taken to Buganda Road court on charges of common nuisance and the prosecution adduced evidence from five witnesses who included police officers and Muslims who were reportedly angered by the protest.

According to the witnesses, the actions of Mayanja and Ojobile were annoying to the people whose names were mentioned and tagged on pig heads, and the smell that was coming out of the fresh pig heads was most likely to result in injury to a considerable number of the public by affecting their health, and the protest affected businesses since some shops allegedly had to close to see what was happening outside due to their commotion.

But when Mayanja and Ojobile were asked to defend themselves over the allegations, the duo that didn’t have legal representation chose to keep quiet as their defense and let the court make its decision based on what the prosecution witnesses had testified to.

In a judgement read today Friday by Otwao, he indicated that the evidence from the prosecution witnesses is wanting because none of the people alleged to have been annoyed by the actions of the activists testified in the case or recorded a statement with police.

According to Otwao, the testimonies were based on what the witnesses were feeling as individuals and that there were no abusive statements on the pig heads that the prosecution had indicated which would cause annoyance, save for putting the names of people only. 

As such, the court has ruled that such testimonies cannot be relied on to convict a person because the prosecution has failed to prove that there was common injury, danger to the public or destruction of property.

Consequently, the magistrate has acquitted the duo and directed that each of them starts the process to seek a refund of the Shs 500,000 that each had paid to be released on bail.

The activists have welcomed the ruling saying that the court has recognized that the citizens have a right to protest peacefully.

The pig protests have been commonly used by activists who subscribe to this group known as the Jobless Brotherhood which has since rebranded to the “Alternative”.

In 2016, their members including Luta Ferdinand who is now facing trial in the court-martial on different charges, and Joseph Lukwago were arrested for dumping piglets at parliament protesting the Shs 200 million given to each MP for buying personal cars.



Source – observer.ug

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Saudi Arabia executes 81 people in a single day | Death Penalty News

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The death penalty applied for a range of charges in the largest known mass execution carried out in the kingdom’s modern history.

Saudi Arabia has executed 81 men over the past 24 hours, including seven Yemenis and one Syrian national, on charges including “allegiance to foreign terrorist organisations” and holding “deviant beliefs”, state news agency Saudi Press Agency said, in the largest known mass execution carried out in the kingdom in its modern history.

The number dwarfed the 67 executions reported in the kingdom in 2021 and the 27 in 2020.

“These individuals … were convicted of various crimes including murdering innocent men, women and children,” SPA said on Saturday, citing a statement from the interior ministry.

“Crimes committed by these individuals also include pledging allegiance to foreign terrorist organisations, such as ISIS [ISIL], al-Qaeda and the Houthis,” it added.

Some travelled to conflict zones to join “terrorist organisations”, according to the SPA.

“The accused were provided with the right to an attorney and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process,” it said.

“The kingdom will continue to take a strict and unwavering stance against terrorism and extremist ideologies that threaten the stability of the entire world,” the report added.

The men included 37 Saudi nationals who were found guilty in a single case for attempting to assassinate security officers and targeting police stations and convoys, the report added.

Saudi Arabia’s last mass execution was in January 2016, when the kingdom executed 47 people, including a prominent opposition Shia leader who had rallied demonstrations in the kingdom.

In 2019, the kingdom beheaded 37 Saudi citizens, most of them minority Shia, in a mass execution across the country for alleged “terrorism”-related crimes.

Saudi Arabia’s human rights records have been under increasing scrutiny from rights groups and Western allies since the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

It has faced strong criticism of its restrictive laws on political and religious expression, and the implementation of the death penalty, including for defendants arrested when they were minors.

Saudi Arabia denies accusations of human rights abuses and says it protects its national security according to its laws.

SPA said the accused were provided with the right to a lawyer and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Nigerian student in Ukraine: 'Mummy we keep hearing bombs'

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Hauwa’s son Suleiman is a Nigerian student in Sumy – she says the family are fearful and anxious.



Source – www.bbc.co.uk

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