After being arrested as children, tormented into signing false confessions, having suffered physical and psychological torture by Saudi authorities – three Shia youth will now be beheaded and crucified. Their crime? Participating in pro-democracy protests in 2012 in wake of the Arab Spring.
Ali Mohammed Al-Nimr, Abdullah Al-Zaher and Dawoud Al-Marhoon have spent most of their youth in solitary confinement. All three boys were subjected to immense torture and denied legal representation during their trial and detention, which is awfully surprising considering Saudi Arabia has signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which explicitly highlights “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.” (UDHR, Article 10)
Sheikh Nimr, a prominent Shia cleric and civil rights activist, was executed in the first week of 2016, for allegedly inciting havoc in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia – yet the world became aware that the regime only executed him because he was a courageous defender of human rights. Saudi propaganda outlets labeled him as a terrorist, but all those with a conscience know this is far from the truth. Al-Nimr frightened the monarchy, for he fearlessly exposed the crimes perpetrated by the authorities and the royal family at large.
The monarchy continue to repress voices of condemnation in the kingdom to the extent that the continue to arbitrarily arrest anyone who speaks the truth and takes a stand against injustice. This is a clear depiction of just how fragile the kingdom is. The Specialized Criminal Court of Saudi Arabia sentenced the youth to death by execution in 2014, and further confirmed the youth will face crucifixion thereafter. The cases were then passed onto the Ministry of Interior in 2015, and to everyone’s surprise, the world was issued a statement by Saudi authorities on Twitter which said: “The judiciary is an independent body and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rejects any form of interference in its internal affairs and any impingement on its sovereignty or the independence and impartiality of its judiciary.”
After the execution of Sheikh Al-Nimr that took place immediately after the New Year celebrations, activists are extremely fearful of what the Saudi regime is planning for the beginning of 2017, for it was the first week of 2016 that shook the international community. The regime carried out a mass execution of 47 people – which included peaceful activists from the Shia populated district of Qatif. The bodies were never returned to the families for burial, nor were the families made aware that they will never be able to see their loved ones again – this is how ruthless the Saudi authorities are.
This is a clear indication that the Saudi regime does not represent the religion of Islam in any way, it fundamentally epitomizes terrorism – and if you look deeper into the history books you’ll find that it was Ibn Taymiya who was the founding father of terrorism, and it’s his work that has inspired the Saudi regime to breed groups such as Daesh, Al-Qaeda, Al Nusra Front, Boko Haram and countless other terror organisations.
We now urge you all to contact your elected representatives and highlight the cases of Ali, Abdullah and Dawoud. These three youth symbolize oppression in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and now face imminent danger.
A demonstration in London will be taking place on Saturday 10th December 2016, outside the Embassy of Saudi Arabia at 3:30pm – 4:30pm – your presence is crucial.