In response to the news that Mustafa al-Darwish could face imminent execution after his case was referred to the Presidency of State Security following the Supreme Court upholding his death sentence, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Lynn Maalouf said:
“Saudi Arabia’s authorities must immediately halt all plans to execute Mustafa al-Darwish who was convicted on charges of participation in anti-government riots and sentenced to death after a deeply flawed trial based on a so-called ‘confession’ obtained through torture. Time is rapidly running out to save his life.
“Use of the death penalty is an abhorrent violation of the right to life in all circumstances. Going ahead with this execution will greatly undermine Saudi Arabia’s recent progress on use of the death penalty which saw an 85% drop in executions in the Kingdom in 2020.
“International human rights law strictly prohibits the use of the death penalty for people who were under 18 years old at the time of the crime. Given that the official charge sheet does not specify the exact month the alleged crimes took place, Mustafa al-Darwish could have been either 17 or 18 at the time.
“Instead of putting Mustafa al-Darwish to death the authorities must immediately quash his conviction and order a fair re-trial of his case.”