Families concerned that youth activists could be executed at any moment

The families of three inmates arrested as juveniles for participating in protests informed The Independent that the UK’s private intervention had not yielded a change in their sons’ cases. The families of the detained told reporter Adam Withnall that despite UK Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond’s claim that he did “not expect” Ali al-Nimr to be executed following the UK intervention into the case, their situations have not changed and the three still face death. In September and October 2015, the Saudi Supreme Court ratified the sentences of Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon, and Abdullah al-Zaher, despite the prisoners being 17, 17, and 15 years of age, respectively, at the time of their arrests.

The Independent reports that the accused are denied access to lawyers and could be executed at any moment without notification. If Saudi authorities denied the three men access to lawyers and subjected them to torture, as the families maintain, then Saudi Arabia has violated international law by negating the right of an individual to a fair trial and the use of cruel and unusual punishment.

William Jay is an Advocay Intern at Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain

Photo courtesy of The Independent