Friday, October 2, 2015


The Saudi government sentenced a 21-year-old Saudi activist Ali Mohammed al-Nimr to death by "crucifixion" in May 2014 after advocates say the then-17-year-old was imprisoned and tortured into confessing to a series of anti-government crimes, including sedition, rioting, and "breaking allegiance" to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. With the ruling upheld by an appeals court last week, al-Nimr will be executed as soon as the king ratifies the sentence.
Human rights groups say is the brutal impunity under which the Saudi Arabian government operates, thanks to its "special relationship" with Western leaders.
Amnesty International, Reprieve, the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights, and the United Nations, among others, all issued statements calling for his acquittal. Codepink is holding a protest outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy on Wednesday to denounce the regime's "crackdown on political dissidents," including al-Nimr. And over the weekend, the Anonymous hacktivist collective shut down Saudi government websites in protest of al-Nimr's sentencing.
Supporters say that his execution would "violate international law" and that the youth has been unfairly targeted because authorities "dislike" his uncle, the prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who has also been sentenced to death.
It was revealed on Tuesday that in 2013 the UK government covertly helped the Saudi government secure a seat at UN Human Rights Council.
As for the U.S., the country's relationship with Saudi Arabia stretches back generations and includes robust oil and weapons trades as well as military backing, including for the ongoing Saudi-led coalition attack on Yemen. In 2014, Saudi Arabia was the number one weapons trading partner with the United States.
Indeed, the controversy highlights a relationship that human rights observers have for years condemned between Western governments and their Saudi allies.
It is time this relationship changed.
Published on Wednesday, September 30, 2015byCommon DreamsYouth's Imminent Execution Shines Light on 'Cozy' Ties Between Saudis and the West…

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