The Supreme Court and Riyadh and the Specialized Court of Appeals upheld the death sentences against a number of citizens from Qatif, Al-Ahsa and Madinah AlMonawara in Saudi Arabia on the grounds of their conviction on political and malicious charges, bringing the total death sentences imminent to execution during these days to 36 death sentences against Shi’a citizens.
In contrast, the three signatory human rights organizations condemn the issuance of these judgments under trials not in conformity with international standards for fair trials, which target not only human rights activists and opponents, but also a specific religious nature. That is in the continuation of the systematic punishment policy practiced by the Saudi authorities against citizens belonging to certain regions on basis of reform demands and as an instrument of persecution and political revenge.
The signatories condemn in the strongest terms the continued use of the non-independent judiciary in Saudi Arabia for political and reprisal purposes and the manipulation of the right to life through the standardization and implementation of the death penalty, despite claims by international human rights organizations that such punishment should be suspended for the cases related to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
The signatory organizations also recall that most of the confessions on which the Saudi authorities base their unjustified death sentences upon are extracted under coercive conditions and under torture, including severe beatings, humiliating practices that degrades human dignity as well as prolonged incommunicado detention. Saudi Arabia’s policy of turning a blind eye to the perpetration of its human rights abuses is due to the lack of international pressuring will.
As a result, we call on human rights organizations to freeze Saudi Arabia’s membership in the Human Rights Council for the authorities’ persistence in their transgressions and their implementation of the death penalty for retaliation in flagrant violation of the international human rights laws.
Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights
SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights
Bahrain Forum for Human Rights.