Saudi Arabia executes man for crimes committed as a minor in ‘false trial’


Saudi Arabia on Tuesday executed a man from the Shia minority community who was convicted on charges of protesting against the government when he was a teenager, in what activists called a “deeply flawed” trial.

Mustafa al-Darwish was executed in the eastern city of Dammam for launching an “armed uprising” against the ruler of Saudi Arabia and “destabilizing security” in the kingdom, the official Saudi news agency reported.

Darwish was arrested in May 2015 for his alleged participation in protests during the Arab Spring uprisings between 2011 and 2012, campaign groups, including Amnesty International, said, adding that he was 17 or 18 at the time.

“By carrying out this execution, the Saudi Arabian authorities have shown deplorable disregard for the right to life,” Amnesty said in a statement.

“He is the latest victim of Saudi Arabia’s deeply flawed justice system, where people are regularly sentenced to death after grossly unfair trials based on confessions obtained through torture.”

Britain-based campaign group Reprieve said authorities had failed to notify Darwish’s family of his execution and found out “by reading the news online”.