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From The Human Rights Council in Geneva: Fears for Saudi Civil Society due to arbitrary arrests and political executions

Zena AlEsia

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Human Rights Organisations raised concerns regarding the continued illegal practice of arbitrary detentionby some states, such as Saudi Arabia. During an oral intervention from Zena AlEsia (a researcher representing ESOHR), a statement was presented withNGO Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), at the Human Council in Geneva during its 33rd session on Thursday 16thSeptember 2016. The intervention pointed to the arbitrary arrest of child Murtaja Al-Qreirees, aged 13 years from 2014, in connection with his participation in peaceful demonstrations, Murtaja continues to be detained without charge, making him the younger opinion prisoner in Saudi Arabia.

The statement also highlighted the recent arbitrary arrest of two female activists, Israa Al Gangnam and Naima Al-Matrood in 2016, in connection with protesting.

The organizations highlighted deep concern regarding state violations of the right to life, citing Saudi Arabia as a key violator, following the arbitrary execution of peaceful social justice activists community Sheikh Nimr Baqir Al-Nimr on 2nd Jan 2016, which came after an gross unfair trial by Saudi’snotorious Specialised Criminal Court.

The intervention highlighted deep concern regarding imposition of the death penalty against minors was raised, citing that in this year alone, Saudi had executed a four people in relation to chargescommitted as children. This concerning trend continues, as three minors: Ali Al Nimr, Dawood Al Marhoon and Abdullah Al Zaher, who were sentenced to death in 2014 using torture based confessions, and who remain at imminent risk of execution.

Both ESOHR and ADHRB, call upon all the countries, including Saudi Arabia to end political execution, unfair trials and halt the imposition of the death penalty against minors.

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