In November 2013, Saudi Arabia was elected one of the 47 members of the Human Rights Council for a term of three years. On January 2, the Saudi regime made a mockery of the Council and its own powerful backers, the USA among them, by executing 47 people, among them Shiite leaders.
The outrage from the Shiite communities in Iran, the Lebanon and Iraq was immediate after Saudi Arabia executed leaders of this denomination, among them Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, arrested on charges of terrorism in 2012 after calling for the downfall of the unelected Saudi monarchic autocratic regime.
Three other leaders of the Shiite community, which accounts for ten per cent of Saudi Arabia's population, were also executed, being among 47 people beheaded on charges of terrorism. In 2014, 158 people were executed in Saudi Arabia. When appointed the USA said it welcomed Saudi Arabia on the Human Rights Council panel.