Amnesty International is warning that, in Saudi Arabia, fifty people including pro-democracy activists and a prominent Palestinian poet are facing an imminent mass execution. Among those facing execution is Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who was arrested at the age of 17 and convicted of encouraging protests during the Arab Spring. Al-Nimr is the nephew of a prominent cleric who has also received a death sentence following pro-democracy protests. In October, Ali al-Nimr’s mother, Nusra al-Ahmed, condemned her son’s sentence in an interview with the Guardian.
Nusra al-Ahmed: “No sane human being would rule against a child of 17 years old using such a sentence. And why? He didn’t shed any blood. He didn’t steal any property. No one could accept a ruling that is so savage. It’s savage, disgusting. A judge should be in the position of a father. He should be more merciful than the attorney general.”
Also facing execution in Saudi Arabia is Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh, a member of the arts collective “Edge of Arabia.” He has been sentenced to death on charges of “apostasy” for making allegedly blasphemous statements during a discussion group and in a book of his poetry.