The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia carried out 47 executions earlier today.
The EU reiterates its strong opposition to the use of the death penalty in all circumstances, and in particular in cases of mass executions.
The specific case of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr raises serious concerns regarding freedom of expression and the respect of basic civil and political rights, to be safeguarded in all cases, also in the framework of the fight against terrorism. This case has also the potential of enflaming further the sectarian tensions that already bring so much damage to the entire region, with dangerous consequences.
The EU calls on the Saudi authorities to promote reconciliation between the different communities in the Kingdom, and all actors to show restraint and responsibility.