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Saudi Arabia: Public prosecution demands death penalty for cleric Salman Al-Ouda

Salman Al-Ouda, prominent Saudi Islamist preacher who was arrested by Saudi forces [marwan Almuraisy/Flickr]
Salman Al-Ouda, prominent Saudi preacher who was arrested by Saudi forces, 13 March 2009 [marwan Almuraisy/Flickr]

Saudi Arabia's Public Prosecution has called on Tuesday for the death penalty against cleric Salman Al-Ouda, who has been detained for more than a year without any trial or explanation of the reason for his arrest.

Saudi Arabian semi-official Okaz newspaper said in a Tweet on Tuesday morning: "The specialised criminal court has started a little while ago the trial of the Assistant-Secretary of the International Union of Muslim Scholars."

Saudi Arabia classifies the International Union of Muslim Scholars, headed by Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, as a "terrorist organisation." Therefore, Al-Ouda has been accused of leading a "terrorist organisation."

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Okaz explained that the Public Prosecution has convicted Al-Ouda with 37 charges and demanded the "death sentence as a discretionary penalty."

During the past period, the son of cleric Al-Ouda, Abdullah Al-Ouda, said that his father has been detained under poor conditions. He has been leg-tied, handcuffed, blindfolded, and tortured, which led to the great deterioration of his health condition.

According to his son Abdullah, Al-Ouda was arrested because he posted a Tweet praying to God "to join their hearts for the good of their people" without explaining who they were. The Saudi authorities interpreted the Tweet as a rejection of the embargo imposed on Qatar, which raised their anger and led to his arrest.

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