Saudi Arabia to Execute 18YearOld Boy Detained 4 Years Ago

Rabat – Saudi Arabia intends to execute the boy, who just turned 18, for having taken part in a protest as documented in video footage acquired by CNN.At the age of 10, the young boy, Murtaja Qureiris, staged a protest demanding human rights along with 30 other children.Qureiris, who was the leader of the group of children, lifted a megaphone and shouted, “the people demand human rights!” At the age of 13, the boy was arrested by Saudi border authorities on the King Fahd Causeway, as he was traveling with his family.At that age, lawyers and activists considered him as the youngest known political detainee in Saudi Arabia.Saudi Arabia detained Qureiris for almost four years in pre-trial detention and is now intending to execute him, reported CNN. Saudi authorities charged him and his brother, Ali Qureiris, with allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails at a police station in the eastern Saudi city of AwamiyaHe was prosecuted by a terrorism court which accused him of belonging to an extremist terror group, committing acts of violence during protests, shooting at security forces, according to CNN.Qureiris denied the accusations and said that Saudi authorities obtained his confessions under duress.At 11 years old, Qureiris witnessed his brother’s death during a protest. In a  video footage obtained by CNN, mourners during Ali’s funeral chanted anti-government slogans.Saudi authorities also jailed his father last year. One of his brothers has also been jailed.CNN has learned that Saudi Authorities are seeking to crucify or dismember Qureiris after execution as part of applying the severest form of the death penalty.Previously, Saudi Arabia has told the United Nations that it does not impose the death penalty on people who committed crimes before the age of criminal responsibility, which is 18-years-old.This may explain why Saudi authorities have kept the young boy in pre-trial detention for almost four years.Obtaining confessions under duress In 2016, the UN Working Group for Arbitrary Detention brought up the case of a detained Saudi minor. The group did not disclose the boy’s name but his information matched the details CNN collected about Qureiris.On November of the same year, the group said during its 77th session, that the minor’s confessions were obtained via torture and that his arrest was arbitrary. The group finds the boy’s detention violated international norms.It said that the boy was arrested for participating in peaceful demonstrations calling for justice for protestors who were killed. UK-based Saudi activist, Mohammad Daman, echoed the group’s statement, adding that Saudi Arabia has not presented a video or photographic evidence of the violence committed during the protest.Daman told CNN that Saudi authorities consider anti-government protests in the Saudi Eastern Province as violent, claiming that protestors attack both security and civilians.

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