Cameron urged to intervene to prevent execution of teenagers in Saudi

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The intervention of David Cameron is being sought to rescue the lives of two Saudi Arabian men who are 15 years old and facing “imminent execution” after attending a demonstration.

The Foreign Secretary has been requested to “leverage” Britain’s “close and vital relationship” with Saudi Arabia and to publicly call for an end to the killings. The letter was written by Sir Peter Bottomley and co-signed by eight cross-party MPs and peers.

After turning eighteen, the two young males, Abdullah Al Derazi and Youssef Al Manasif, were both taken into custody. But since they were fifteen years old, they have allegedly been involved in anti-government demonstrations against the way the Shia minority is treated.

Multiple rights groups have said that their sentences were upheld following “grossly unfair” trials and “torture-tainted confessions”.

“Recent developments in the prison where they are held indicate they may be executed at any moment,” the letter, seen exclusively by The Telegraph, read.

“We respectfully request that you make a public call for their executions to be halted, and for their death sentences to be overturned in line with the Saudi Government’s legal obligations and its promises to stop executing child defendants.”

Preparing inmates for execution

As prime minister in 2015, Lord Cameron said that he would personally intervene against the imminent execution of another child protester on Saudi’s secretive death row, Ali Al Nimr, who was set to imminently be beheaded. When his sentence was commuted, the foreign secretary at the time, Philip Hammond, suggested it was a victory of British diplomacy.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly declared in recent years that it has abolished the death penalty for child defendants. All of the charges against the young men are non-lethal and do not meet the “most serious crimes” threshold for the death penalty to be applied.

Abdallah, whose death sentence has been upheld by the Supreme Court, spent two weeks in a coma following the torture he faced during his arrest in 2014, his court records show. His charges include “burning tyres” and attending a funeral when he was 17.

According to the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR), which monitors and investigates Saudi’s opaque death row, Dammam Investigations Prison, which holds both Abdullah and Youssef, is preparing inmates for execution.

A relative of Youssef, whose identity has been hidden due to fear of reprisal, described the family as “desperate”.

Last week, an inmate in Dammam, who was accused of similar crimes to the two young men, was executed without warning, prompting campaigners to raise the alarm over the two child defendants.

Witnesses have told ESOHR that death row detainees in Dammam have also been photographed recently, which they believe to be an indicator of imminent execution.


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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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