Saudi Arabia commutes demise sentences of three males jailed as minors | Human Rights Information

Three men sentenced to death for participating in protests in 2012 when teenagers were sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Saudi Arabia has commuted the death sentences of three men arrested as minors for participating in anti-government protests in the last time the kingdom tried to improve its human rights record.

The country’s Human Rights Commission (HRC) said in a statement on Sunday that Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon and Abdullah al-Zaher had been “sentenced again to 10 years in prison” and that the time they were serving was already serving would also be taken into account by setting their release date for 2022.

The move comes after the kingdom ended in April last year, when the death penalty was applied to anyone who was legal minors at the time of the crime, except in cases involving the Counter Terrorism Act.

The Saudi Human Rights Commission issued the following statement:

– HRC International (@HRCSaudi_EN) February 7, 2021

The three young Saudis, all of whom belong to the Shiite minority, were under the age of 18 when they were arrested for “terrorism” in 2012 during a pro-democracy protest.

“Excellent news for Ali al Nimr, who was sentenced to death in KSA for taking part in a democracy protest when he was 17,” said Maya Foa, director of the UK-based campaign group Reprieve, on Twitter.

Excellent news for Ali al Nimr, who was sentenced to death in KSA at the age of only 17 for participating in a protest for democracy. Thanks to @ jonsnowC4 and @ Channel4News for dealing with Cameron in 2015. @ESOHumanRightsE @reprieve https: // t .co / TaJ58CSGnD

– Maya Foa (@mayafoa) February 7, 2021

In Saudi Arabia, which has one of the highest death penalty rates in the world, the number of executions fell “dramatically” last year. According to the HRC, 27 people were executed in 2020, an 85 percent decrease from the previous year.

The HRC also said last April that Saudi Arabia is abolishing court-ordered flogging.

The absolute monarchy was increasingly scrutinized for its human rights record, especially after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

Under de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has arrested activists, religious leaders and members of the royal family in a sweeping crackdown on dissent for the past three years.

Joe Biden criticized Saudi Arabia for its human rights record before he was elected US president last November.

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