لقرائته بالعربية اضغط هنا
Amid the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s continued cruel and unjust use of the death penalty, the Supreme Court has given final ratification for the ta’zir [discretionary] death penalty of Saudi citizen Ali Hassan Al Rabie, which means that he may be killed at any moment. According to formal Saudi law, he can no longer appeal the ruling, and the only thing standing between him and death is the signature of King Salman or his representative.
Ali Al Rabie (born 1979), married and the father of one child, is from a family of which three members were killed by the Saudi government, and he would be the fourth. Al Rabie was arrested on 9 December 2013, while visiting his brothers, Ahmed and Hussein Al Rabie, both of whom Saudi Arabia executed along with 35 others in April 2019. They were executed after being subjected to unjust trials lacking the most basic standards of fairness. The judges ignored the victims’ complaints of being subjected to systematic torture or other methods of coercion and ill treatment on the part of the Mabahith investigators to force them into making specific confessions. Among the victims were six individuals who were charged when they were children.
Between work and family, Ali Al Rabie was living a typical life, and he was not notified beforehand in any way that he was being charged or was wanted for investigation. Since his sudden arrest, he has faced appalling conditions, including:
- Solitary confinement for six months.
- Subjected to the systematic torture in widespread use in Saudi political prisons.
- Sleep deprivation for days on end.
- No bathing or personal hygiene for a long period.
- Denial of his right to a lawyer.
- No communication with his family.
In addition, the Mabahith investigator wrote a statement for him and forced him to sign it, using the aforementioned methods and threatening to leave him in solitary confinement and unable to see his son if he refused to sign.
Al Rabie informed the judges at the Specialized Criminal Court of the crime of torture to which he was subjected and all the abuses against him. Nevertheless, they ignored all his complaints, certified the statements he had signed under the duress of torture and threats, and issued their unjust sentence of the ta’zir death penalty.
Al Rabie’s third brother, Thamer, was killed by Saudi forces when he was 17 years old, along with
four others, during a raid in the city of Awamiyah in 20 December 2014. Thamer was driving his car when a bullet from a security forces armored vehicle hit him in the throat. The security spokesman from the Ministry of Interior, Major General Mansour Al-Turki, ignored the killing of the child, Thamer Al Rabie, stating only that the security forces had killed four terrorists. The official press referred to the child, Thamer Al Rabie, as a terrorist, claiming that he was killed with the others at one of the farms, which is completely inconsistent with what local sources told ESOHR.
Ali Al Rabie was charged with demonstrating; participating in the funeral procession of his cousin, Khalid al-Labad, whom Saudi Arabia killed; repeating the slogan, “Retribution for those who open fire;” possessing three Kalashnikovs; and participating in firing on the Awamiyah police station. The Saudi authorities did not provide any evidence for these charges. In court, Al Rabie attested to the untruth of the charges against him, except for participating in the funeral of Khalid al-Labad and chanting “Retribution for those who open fire.” However, the judges deemed legitimate the statements written in the investigator’s own hand and which Al Rabie was forced to sign under torture and threat, even though this violates the procedures codified in local regulations.
Since King Salman took power in the country in 2015, the implementation of the death penalty in Saudi Arabia has increased brutally. Up to October 2020, there have been no fewer than 794 executions, according to ESOHR statistics; 51% of the death sentences carried out have been based on non-serious crimes, and some of these were for legal and legitimate activities.
In addition to Saudi Arabia’s application of the ta’zir death penalty, which is a source of disagreement among Muslim scholars, the government has an “extremist” understanding of religious texts and scholarly opinions that it uses widely to be able to justify the execution of anyone whose political or religious opinion differs from its own. Ta’zir refers to a discretionary disciplinary punishment for a felony that has no hudud punishment and for which there is no reparation in Islamic law. Although there are many Islamic interpretations that do not believe that the discretion involved in ta’zir includes the punishment of execution, Saudi Arabia utilizes this discretionary penalty in an extreme way and uses understandings that permit the killing of anyone who engages in political or religious dissent.
Through studying and analyzing many of the rulings handed down by a non-independent judiciary, ESOHR has found that Saudi Arabia uses extremist understandings to legitimize its unjust rulings issued after violating all the fundamental rights of the detainee.
The unjust sentence against Ali Al Rabie is purely motivated by politics, with no connection to any actual serious charges. The extremism of the Saudi judiciary and its lack of independence and conditions for fair trials make this ruling a confirmation of the unprecedented brutality taking place under the reign of King Salman and his son.