Trump in Saudi Arabia as juveniles face execution

May 15, 2017

President Trump is preparing to visit Riyadh, as concerns grow for three Saudi juveniles who face imminent execution for attending protests.

President Trump will reportedly travel to Saudi Arabia on Friday (19th). International human rights group Reprieve has written to the President urging him to secure the release of three juveniles in the Kingdom who are at risk of execution, potentially by beheading – and, in one case, crucifixion.

Ali al-Nimr, Dawoud al-Marhoon, and Abdullah al-Zaher were arrested following pro-democracy protests in 2012. They were tortured into signing false ‘confessions’, which were used in a secretive counter-terrorism court to convict them, and sentence them to death.

The Saudi authorities have recently executed several juveniles and alleged political protesters. One juvenile, Ali al-Ribh, was arrested in his school before being executed in January 2016, alongside 46 others.

Commenting, Maya Foa, a Director at Reprieve, said:

“As President Trump visits Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom is engaged in a shocking wave of repression that flies in the face of US values. Juveniles like Ali al-Nimr, Dawoud al-Marhoon and Abdullah al-Zaher could be executed at any moment, simply for exercising freedom of speech. They could face a horrific execution, which could include beheading and ‘crucifixion’, just for attending protests. Other protesters have been tortured into signing false confessions, tried in secret, and then executed.

 

“President Trump must use his visit to send a clear message to Riyadh – he must demand the release of Ali, Dawoud and Abdullah, and call on the Kingdom to halt executions of juveniles and protesters.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization. Reprieve’s London office can be contacted on: communications@reprieve.org.uk, or +44 207 553 8160. Reprieve US, based in New York City, can be contacted on: katherine.oshea@reprieve.org, or +1 917 855 8064.

2. Reprieve’s letter to President Trump can be seen here.

3. It was reported this morning that the Trump Administration is close to completing a series of security deals with Saudi Arabia worth around $100bn.