By Ameen Nemer
The Saudi regime executed 37 people on 23 April 2019, following grossly unfair trials for various alleged crimes, including terrorism, spying and rebelling against the ruler. The Specialized Criminal Court convicted at least 21 based on forced confessions. Of the 37 executed, 33 were Shia and 6 of them were convicted of crimes that took place while they were under age. Most of the cases were well-documented by the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Reprieve.
The Saudi regime did not deliver the bodies so that families can bury them in respectfully. Also, the regime banned the holding of any mourning ceremonies. Of course, if the bodies were delivered back to their relatives, they would be treated as martyrs and the number of the mourners would prove that the regime lies. Instead, the Saudi official press and social media has continued to label the victims as ‘terrorists’. An article was published by Okaz newspaper, smearing Mujtaba al-Sweikat who was arrested at the airport aged 17 on his way to leave the country to study in the United States. He was executed last week, aged 25.
Human rights organisation Reprieve, which campaigns against the death penalty, highlighted his case and those of others executed in the last week on Twitter.
There are more innocent people at imminent risk of execution. If we cannot stop them, at least we can talk about the oppression. Join us and be a voice for the voiceless.
What you can do:
- Join the protest sit-in against mass executions in Saudi Arabia. Location: Front of Manchester Central Library. Date and time: Saturday 4 May 2019, at 06.00 pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/1675454085890958/
- Sign Reprieve’s petition: Stop Saudi executions
- Pass a resolution in your trade union branch condemning the executions and calling on the UK government to stop all arms sales to Saudi Arabia