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Saudi Arabia releases Shia minor after commuting his death sentence

February 3, 2022 at 10:25 am

The Saudi Arabia national flag [Chris McGrath/Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia yesterday freed Dawoud Al-Marhoon who had previously been sentenced to death for protesting while he was a minor.

Al-Marhoon was 17 when he was detained in 2012 during anti-government protests by the kingdom’s Shia Muslim minority.

In 2015, he and two other minors, Ali Al-Nimr and Abdullah Al-Zaher, were handed death sentences, but these were commuted in February 2021 to ten years in prison after King Salman said the kingdom will no longer impose the death penalty on people who committed crimes as minors.

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Al-Nimr, who was released last October, is the nephew of influential Shia cleric Nimr Al-Nimr, who was executed in 2016. Al-Zaher was released in November 2021.

Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s major executioners. Last year alone, it carried out 69 executions.