Saudi Arabian authorities will reportedly execute five teenagers for crimes carried out as juveniles during a 2012 crackdown on Shia dissent.
The news comes as the BBC report that UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab is set to “press” its “valued partner” on “human rights.”
The European Saudi Organisation for Human rights (ESOHR) named the five individuals as Ahmad Abdel Al-Wahid Al-Faraj, Ali Mohammad Al-Bitti, Mohammad Hussain Al-Nimr, Ali Hassan Al-Faraj, and Mohammad Essam Al- Faraj.
According to local media and ESOHR, 18-year-old Mohammad Essam Al- Faraj was sentenced to death for taking part in the funeral of a victim of extrajudicial killings, carried out by Saudi special forces in the governorate of Qatif in 2012, when he was just nine years old.
Ahmad Abdel Al-Wahid Al-Faraj and Ali Mohammad Al-Bitti, both 20 years old, face unspecified charges related to two wanted suspects when they were 13 years old.
Mohammad Hussain Al-Nimr, 22, faces a charge of participating in the funeral of a victim of extrajudicial killings when he was 14 years old, according to ESOHR.
Details of Ali Hassan Al-Faraj’s charges were not given.
According to local media, the suspects have been waiting in prison for over two years, where they have been subjected to torture, solitary confinement, denial of access to a lawyer and long-term detention before appearing in court.
They have all been convicted of crimes carried out as juveniles during a 2012 crackdown on Shia dissent in the Qatif region, and the youngest was just nine years old at the time of his arrest, according to reports.
ESOHR said that at least 10 other minors are currently facing execution in Saudi Arabia.
Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s highest rates of execution and human rights groups have repeatedly raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom.
According to local media, 184 people were executed in the kingdom in 2019, and human rights groups have accused Saudi Arabia’s royal family of condoning torture in recent years.
In November 2018, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch claimed that numerous human rights activists and clerics had been unlawfully arrested and several had been either flogged, electrocuted or sexually harassed.
Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom have been close strategic allies since the time of the First World War. The kingdom is the United Kingdom’s main trading partner in the Middle East and the UK is Saudi Arabia’s closest European ally.
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Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
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