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Saudi executions on course to double 2015 total

Categories: Articles:Human Rights | Published: 05/04/2016 | Views: 973
This year (2016) has seen Saudi Arabia execute 82 people so far, according to new research by the international human rights organisation Reprieve – which suggests the Kingdom is on course to behead twice as many prisoners as last year. (Ekklesia)

This week saw three executions take place, and last week four, according to statements from the Saudi Government and reports in local media. The latest executions come in the wake of a visit made to the Kingdom last week by UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, during which he met with the country’s Interior Minister.

The British Government has previously raised the cases of three people sentenced to death as children over their alleged involvement in political protest, but it is not clear whether Mr Fallon discussed the matter during his meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, who runs the ministry responsible for carrying out executions.

Dawoud al Marhoon, Ali al Nimr and Abdullah al Zaher were all sentenced to death despite having been children at the time of the alleged offences, and could be executed at any time without warning. All three were convicted for alleged offences relating to protests calling for reform in the Kingdom. On 2 January 2016, Ali Saeed al-Ribh was executed for his alleged involvement in the same political protests when he was 17 years old.

The UK Government told Members of Parliament last month that: “We have raised these cases with the Saudi Arabian authorities, most recently on 12 March, at a very senior level. Our expectation remains that they will not be executed.”

However, under the Saudi system there is no requirement for prisoners’ lawyers or families to be informed before they are executed, and British ministers have not provided any explanation of what their expectation is based on.  Read more here

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