SHAFAQNA – In yet another display of complete disregard for human rights, Saudi Arabia is said to be ready to carry out the execution of 13 Shia Muslims on the basis they represent a threat to national security.
Under Saudi Arabia’s strict religious rule, all religious groups outside Wahhabism are by definition apostate, and therefore passable of the death penalty.
While Riyadh has been known for freely wielding its sword against Shia Muslims, the United Nations appear this time to have taken offense.
UN experts showed their concern over the imminent execution threat of Shia detainee Abbas Al Hassan after he was accused of spreading the Shia faith – an offense equated to terrorism in the kingdom.
UN experts have called on the authorities to overturn the sentence.Seven United Nations rapporteurs issued a statement calling upon Saudi Arabia to halt the executions of Shia Muslim Abbas Hassan as well 13 others.
The Seven UN rapporteurs who participated in issuing the statement are: the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions (Ms. Agnes Callamard), the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel treatment (Mr. Nils Melzer), the Special Rapporteur on promotion and protecting of human rights while countering terrorism (Mrs. Fionnuala D. Ni Aolain), the Special Rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers (Mr. Diego Garcia – Sayan), the current Chair- Rapporteur of the working Group on Arbitrary Detention (Mr. Jose Antonio Guevara Bermude), the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief (Mr. Ahmed Shaheed), the Special Rapporteur on the right to health (Mr. DainiusPuras)
The rapporteurs called upon Saudi Arabia to halt the execution of others 14 individuals who also wrongly accused of spying for Iran. The statement declared that the Specialized Criminal Court has sentenced Abbas AlHassan and other 14 prisoners to death in December 2016, and confirmed the verdict in July & December 2017.
Furthermore, the rapporteurs noted that the case is currently in the Presidency of State Security and waiting for the King’s ratification. The rapporteurs expressed their concern over the individuals from being subjected to torture during their investigation to obtain confessions, and the death sentences were based on evidence extracted under torture.
The statement also noted the concern of the experts about the physical safety and mental health of the individuals, after being tortured and the subsequent deprivation of adequate medical care by prison authorities.
In addition, the rapporteurs pointed out that the 15 individuals were held in incommunicado for up to three months, and their lawyers were denied access to the evidence and did not have enough time to prepare an adequate defense.
They also indicated that the death sentences were unrelated to the “most serious crimes” which contradicts the international law in concerning crimes on which the death sentences are based.
Moreover, the rapporteurs confirmed that the individuals should be retried under the conditions of fair trial and judicial guarantees. The rapporteurs also called upon the Saudi government to impose a moratorium on capital punishment and consider its full abolition.