Saudi Arabia has dismissed the final appeal of a juvenile prisoner set to be crucified. Ali Mohammed Al-Nimr was arrested aged 17 after participating in anti-government protests in 2012. He was accused of protesting illegally and being in possession of firearms.
Ali was initially held at a juvenile offenders’ facility. Reports indicate that he was tortured and signed a confession under duress. The appeal was held in secret and dismissed, with no remaining legal routes of objection to his sentence of “death by crucifixion”, initially handed down on 27 May 2014.
Maya Foa, Director of the death penalty team at legal charity Reprieve, said: “No one should have to go through the ordeal Ali has suffered – torture, forced ‘confession’, and an unfair, secret trial process, resulting in a sentence of death by ‘crucifixion’.”
“But worse still, Ali was a vulnerable child when he was arrested and this ordeal began. His execution – based apparently on the authorities’ dislike for his uncle, and his involvement in anti-government protests – would violate international law and the most basic standards of decency. It must be stopped.”
A number of people, including minors, have been sentenced to death following their involvement in demonstrations that swept the MENA region during the Arab Spring.