24 September 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  •    - Bahrain
  •    - Iran
  •    - Iraq
  •    - Israel
  •    - Jordan
  •    - Kuwait
  •    - Lebanon
  •    - Oman
  •    - Palestine
  •    - Qatar
  •    - Saudi Arabia
  •    - Syria
  •    - Turkey
  •    - United Arab Emirates
  •    - Yemen
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 08/14/2017, 14.14

    SAUDI ARABIA

    Nobel Laureates write to the Saudi king asking him to halt the execution of 14 Shia activists



    The accused were arrested in 2012 during the Arab Spring. Activists and civil society groups warn that the execution is imminent. Pleaders ask Salman to show a merciful face and correct a great injustice. The ultraconservative kingdom has one of the world's highest rates of execution.

    Riyadh (AsiaNews) – Ten Nobel laureates have written an open letter calling on Saudi authorities to hold off the execution of 14 Shias convicted of crimes committed during street protests in 2012, including rioting, theft, armed robbery, and armed rebellion.

    Activists and civil society groups fear their imminent mass execution. In the past, human rights groups accused Saudi authorities of coercing confessions, which were later retracted in court, and failing to grant fair trials to defendants, including juveniles.

    Anti-Apartheid leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman, Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi and former East Timor president and Nobel laureate Jose Ramos-Horta are among the people who signed the letter addressed to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, his son, asking them to stay the executioner’s hands, refrain from ratifying the death sentences, and correct a great injustice.

    Among the 14, all minority Shia Muslims, is Mujtaba al-Sweikat, who was detained at a Saudi airport on his way to the United States to attend Western Michigan University.

    Al-Sweikat was 18 when he was arrested and his shoulder was broken as he was being coerced into confession.

    The American Federation of Teachers has called on US President Donald Trump to demand that Saudi Arabia halt the execution of al-Sweikat and the 13 others.

    Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia has one of the world's highest rates of execution. This year alone, it has executed 75 people so far.

    In July, the supreme court upheld the death penalty for the 14 men, all Saudi citizens. The sentences must be ratified by the king or the crown prince for the executions to go ahead.

    A spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Justice, Mansour al-Qafari, said in a statement that all defendants in Saudi Arabia receive due process.

    The defendants all come from the eastern province of Qatif, where most of the Shia community lives. For many Sunnis, Shias are apostates and allied with the kingdom’s rival, Iran.

    For their part, Saudi Shia leaders have repeatedly accused the authorities of persecution and marginalisation. The eastern part of Saudi Arabia is also where most of Saudi oil fields are located. (DS)

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    24/05/2008 SAUDI ARABIA
    A film festival in a land without movie theatres
    The event marks a significant step in Saudi Arabia where movie theatres are banned and DVDs are censored. Unusually for a place like Saudi Arabia, men and women were in the same hall, albeit separated by a glass partition.

    27/05/2008 SAUDI ARABIA
    Forced to divorce, Saudi couple appeals to UN
    A religious tribunal heeds divorce request by the wife’s brother on the grounds that her husband is from a tribal group that was not prestigious enough. The case has led to the involvement of a UN expert on the matter but to no effect. It has also highlighted the singular plight of divorced non-Saudi women.

    20/01/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
    Arab petrochemical and real estate giants in crisis
    In Kuwait City Arab states call for greater economic integration but postpone major decisions. Leading Arab petrochemical giant sees net income drop 95 per cent.

    18/06/2008 SAUDI ARABIA
    Riyadh announces plan to rehabilitate inmates
    Interior Ministry illustrate plan in response to concerns voiced by the Saudi National Human Rights Society on prison conditions.

    26/01/2007 SAUDI ARABIA
    Riyadh should “stop religious persecution of Ahmadis”
    In an open letter to the king of Saudi Arabia, Human Rights Watch calls for an end to the wave of arrests, detentions and deportations against the Ahmadi community, which is considered heretical by Islamic extremists.



    Editor's choices

    JAPAN - VATICAN
    Archbishop Kikuchi: In tune with the Pope and Card. Filoni for mission in Japan

    Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi

    The bishop of Niigata and President of Caritas Japan comments on yesterday’s papal message sent to the bishops of Japan. The journey stages of Card. Filoni, which will also touch Fukushima. The question of the relationship with the Neocatechumenal Way is still "unresolved".


    VATICAN - JAPAN
    Pope to Japanese Bishops: Be the salt and light of society, even going against the trends



    During the pastoral visit of Card. Fernando Filoni, Prefect of Propaganda Fide, to the Land of the Rising Sun, Pope Francis urges the bishops and the Japanese Church to renew their missionary commitment to society, marked by suicides, divorces, religious formalism, material and spiritual poverty. The request to collaborate with ecclesial movements, perhaps in memory of the controversy with the Neocatechumenal Way.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®