14 Saudi Shiites accused of staging protests now face execution
CAIRO – Munir al-Adam spends hours alone in an Arabian prison, his mother said. He does not know if it is day or night, since it is mainly kept in a dark cell. Partially blind and partially deaf, he experienced various forms of torture during the five years following his detention.
“He was ordered to defend the time slots,” said his mother, Zahraa Abdullah. “He was beaten with sticks and wires. He was shocked and could not eat or go to the bathroom.”
Adam and 13 other Saudi men could be executed every day now for the organization of protests in the kingdom.
All of the Shiite minority included a teenager who was arrested just before he was boarding a flight to visit an American university where he planned to study English and finance.
Human rights activists and academics in the United States say that death sentences violate international law and based on false confessions induced by torture.
A public appeal was launched to the new Saudi Crown Prince, Muhammad bin Salman, to reject phrases.
Saudi Ministry of Justice officials said on Thursday their intention to make a statement on the case soon. Saudi officials have said through state media that the men have organized attacks against checkpoints and patrols, killing several security personnel.
The phrases are a sign of deepening tensions between Sunni Arab and Saudi Shiite elites in the country and in the region.
In neighboring Yemen, the kingdom is engaged in a costly war against the Shi’ite rebels Houthi, known as backed by the Iranian Shi’ite regional theocratic rival. The campaign to isolate Arabia Qatar lies partly in the close ties that the Persian Gulf nation with Iran.
At home, Shiites have long complained about discrimination. While the Arab Spring riots broke out there six years ago, thousands of demonstrations organized mainly in densely populated Shiite areas of eastern Saudi Arabia demand more rights and access to government services.
But the leaders of the kingdom saw the uprising as a threat, accusing the demonstrators to align with Iran. In recent weeks, clashes between Shiites and government forces in a reactive eastern region have become more violent.
The 14 men on the death row have been charged with crimes related to the demonstrations. They were convicted by the criminal court specialist, who the UK’s Human Rights advocacy group, repressed “confession confessed by torture as fundamental beliefs.”
For more than a decade, Saudi Arabia was one of the top five countries in the world to have executed executions, mostly by decapitations and damage.
More than 300 people have been executed in the last two years, say human rights activists. The death penalty is regularly imposed on non-violent crimes, including possession of drugs and adultery.
There are two weeks, the men were transferred to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, a sign that their performances were getting closer. At least one young man and several young demonstrators are part of the group, according to Reprieve.