HRW, Amnesty Demand Saudi Arabia to Quash Death Sentences of 14 Shiite Protestors
2017-06-10 - 1:53 ص
Bahrain Mirror: Saudi Arabia should immediately quash the death sentences of 14 members of the Shia community for protest-related crimes, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said.
The Court of Appeal of the notorious Specialized Criminal Court upheld the sentences in May 2017, after they were handed down a year ago on June 1, 2016, following a grossly unfair trial of 24 Saudi Shia citizens. The Specialized Criminal Court is Saudi Arabia's counterterrorism tribunal.
"The rise in death sentences against Saudi Arabian Shia is alarming and suggests that the authorities are using the death penalty to settle scores and crush dissent under the guise of combating ‘terrorism' and maintaining national security," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
"The sham court proceedings that led to death sentences for 38 Shia men and boys brazenly flout international fair trial standards," said Lynn Maalouf, director of research at Amnesty International in the Middle East. "The sentences should immediately be quashed."
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch obtained the text of and analyzed 10 court judgments - involving 38 individuals - handed down by the Specialized Criminal Court between 2013 and 2016. In nearly all the trial judgments analyzed, defendants retracted their "confessions," saying they were coerced in circumstances that in some cases amounted to torture, including beatings and prolonged solitary confinement. The court rejected all torture allegations without investigating the claims. The judges admitted the "confessions" as evidence, and then convicted the detainees almost solely based on these "confessions."
"Death sentences based on coerced ‘confessions' violate international human rights law and are a repugnant yet all-too-common outcome in security-related cases in Saudi Arabia," Maalouf said. "These death penalty trials fail to meet even the most basic requirements for due process."
Pending full abolition of the death penalty, the Saudi Arabian authorities should immediately establish an official moratorium on executions, and remove any death penalty provisions that are in breach of international human rights law, such as provisions for its use against juvenile offenders and those suffering from mental disabilities, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said.
التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع
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