|German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Saudi Arabia|
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been urged to use a visit to Saudi Arabia today to press for the release of three juveniles who face beheading for allegedly attending protests.
Mrs Merkel is due to arrive in Saudi Arabia today for talks focused on issues of 'mutual interest', including German cooperation with Saudi security forces.
The visit takes place amid fears for three prisoners who were arrested as children in 2012, tortured by Saudi police, and sentenced to death on charges that relate to political protests.
Ali al-Nimr, Abdullah al-Zaher and Dawood al-Marhoon were sentenced to beheading and, in Ali’s case, ‘crucifixion’ despite their being 17, 15, and 17 respectively at the time of their arrest.
All three juveniles were convicted on the strength of their forced ‘confessions’. They could be executed at any time.
In January 2016, German officials condemned the execution of 47 people en masse by the Saudi authorities, including several juveniles.
At least one juvenile who was executed – Ali al-Ribh – was convicted on charges relating to protests, as were Abdullah, Dawood and Ali.
Commenting, Harriet McCulloch – a deputy director at international human rights organization Reprieve – said: “As Chancellor Merkel visits Riyadh, the Kingdom continues to oversee horrifying abuses – from torture and forced ‘confessions’ to the death penalty for juveniles such as Ali al Nimr. Mrs Merkel must make it very clear that Germany will not support Saudi security forces while they are are involved in executions and police torture - and she must urgently call for the release of Ali, Dawood and Abdullah."
Source: Reprieve, April 30, 2017
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