Saudi Arab

14 Saudis face imminent execution for protesting: Reprieve

A leading rights group has called on the US and UK governments to stop Saudi Arabia from executing 14 people who face death based on evidence gathered under torture.

Reprieve, which is based in London, said all 14 people were sentenced by the controversial Specialized Criminal Court, which used confessions extracted through torture as the basis for convictions.

Nearly all were charged with offenses related to attending protests, Reprieve said.

Among those facing imminent execution are Munir al-Adam, who is half-deaf and partially-blind, and Mujtaba’a al-Sweikat, who was only 17 when he was sentenced to death.

The rights group called on US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May to urge the new Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to halt the executions.

‘This is an extremely worrying move from the increasingly brutal regime in Saudi Arabia. To execute a disabled man and a juvenile protestor would be an appalling breach of international law and world leaders cannot stand silently by and let this happen,” said Maya Foa, the director of Reprieve.

“President Trump and Theresa May need to tell the new Saudi Crown Prince loudly and clearly that this is an unacceptable red line that should not be crossed,” she said.

The organization stressed that Saudi Arabia was using the fight on terrorism as a pretext to sentence juveniles and protesters to death.

“This marks a further escalation of executions under the new Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, with 14 executions already this week, including 4 persons who had been sentenced to death on protest-related charges,” it said on its website.

Saudi Arabia has long been under fire for its grim human rights record. Saudi Arabia carried out 157 executions in 2015, most of which were beheading by sword, according to Amnesty International.

Riyadh triggered worldwide condemnation last year when it executed 47 people en masse, including juvenile Ali al-Ribh and leading Shia cleric sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr.

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