Human Rights Voices

While the UN devotes its human rights operations to the demonization of the democratic state of Israel above all others and condemns the United States more often than the vast majority of non-democracies around the world, the voices of real victims around the world must be heard.

Saudi Arabia, October 7, 2015

Second Saudi Teenager Set to Be Beheaded for ‘Protesting’

Original source

Daily Mail

A second teenager is set to beheaded in Saudi Arabia for his role in protests, it was reported today.

Dawoud al-Marhoon had his conviction upheld by a court just days after a similar case involving another youth sparked an international outcry.

Al-Marhoon was 17 when he was arrested by Saudi security forces in May 2012, at the height of protests in the country's Eastern Province.

He was reportedly tortured and made to sign a 'confession' that was later said to have been relied on to convict him.

He was charged with attending a protest, teaching first aid to demonstrators and using his Blackberry phone to urge more people to join in.

The Al-Nimr sentence has prompted strong international criticism, with the French government and a group of UN experts among those calling for a halt to the executions.

With legal avenues exhausted, both juveniles could now be executed at any time, without prior notification to their families.

The executions are expected to go ahead despite concerns about the fairness of both trials, says Reprieve.

Speaking to the BBC on Sunday, British Prime Minister David Cameron said his message to the Saudi government was 'don't do it', adding that 'we never stint in telling them that we don't agree with them on these human rights issues.'

However, Mr Cameron's government has been criticised for continuing with a Ministry of Justice bid to provide services to the Saudi prison system.

Concerns were also raised last week about the UK's foreign policy priorities after Sir Simon McDonald, Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Office, told MPs that human rights no longer had the 'profile' within his department that they had 'in the past'.

Maya Foa, director of the death penalty team at Reprieve, said: 'Ali al-Nimr's case has rightly prompted revulsion among the international community.

'It is therefore horrifying that the Saudi government is pushing ahead with plans to exact a similarly brutal sentence on another juvenile, Dawoud al-Marhoon.'