News ID: 112233
Publish Date : 08 February 2023 - 21:22

Saudi Court Sentences More Political Prisoners to Death

RIYADH (Dispatches) – Saudi authorities have sentenced four more anti-regime activists to death in a fresh crackdown by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman against political opponents in the kingdom.
The Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in the Arabian Peninsula (CDHRAP) announced in a statement that Saudi Arabia’s so-called specialized criminal court handed death sentences to Mohammed Ali al-Shaqaq, Mansour Samir al-Hayyek, Mazrouq Mohammad Zaif Fazl Al Fazl and Raad Mohammad Zaif Fazl Al Fazl.
The rights group added that the same court also sentenced another dissident, identified as Ali Razi Mansour al-Hayyeki to 27 years in prison.
The annual rate of executions in Saudi Arabia since King Salman and his son Mohammed bin Salman came to power in 2015 has almost doubled, according to a new report, which highlighted flagrant human rights violations in the Arab country.
A day earlier, Saudi Arabia issued death sentences for two Shia citizens for allegedly collaborating with terrorist groups.
The kingdom’s Specialized Criminal Court handed down death sentences to Ali Muhammad al-Rabi and Ali Hassan al-Safwani, according to a report by the European Saudi Organization for Human Rights.
This is while the Saudi prosecutor’s office had earlier called for a 20-year prison sentence as well as a travel ban to prevent them from leaving the country.
Ali Muhammad—who is from a Shia community which faces systematic discrimination by the Saudi regime -- has been accused of being a member of a “terrorist organization”, supporting a terrorist ideology, helping and sheltering a number of terrorists and providing them with food, using information networks and social networks, and plans to contact terrorists.
Ali Muhammad was arrested on February 7, 2021, after Saudi forces attacked his house without a warrant. He was held in solitary confinement for 3 months and denied access to his family during this time.
Ali Hassan has also been accused of being a member of a terrorist organization, supporting terrorist ideology, and aiding and abetting a number of terrorists.
Both of them had rejected the accusations in court and had been forced to confess without having access to a lawyer, the human rights body said.
Since bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader in 2017, the kingdom has arrested hundreds of activists, bloggers, intellectuals, and others for their political activism, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnation of the crackdown.
Muslim scholars have been executed and women’s rights campaigners have been put behind bars and tortured as freedom of expression, association, and belief continue to be denied by the kingdom’s authorities.
Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to target activism.