Police in Saudi Arabia. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri
The Saudi Arabian authorities sentenced the brother of a renowned Saudi activist to death for allegedly posting on X (formerly Twitter) criticism of corruption and the human rights situation in the Arab monarchy, the Gulf Center for Human Rights reported on Sunday. Humans (CGHR).
The sentence against Mohamed bin Nasser al Ghamdi was issued on July 10, after posting from “an unknown account” on the X platform “criticism of corruption” and “human rights violations” that are carried out in Saudi Arabia. the NGO said in a statement.
His brother, the renowned activist Saeed bin Nasser al Ghamdi, who has been in exile in the United Kingdom since 2018, defended on August 24 in X that the court specializing in terrorism cases that tried his relative did not accept the medical reports indicating that the sentenced He suffers from “chronic neurological diseases”.
Nor did it take into account that the profile from which these publications were made was “unknown” and had “only nine followers.”
Faced with this situation, Saeed pointed out that the death sentence against his brother, which he described as “false”, is intended to force the 62-year-old activist to return to Saudi Arabia, after the Saudi intelligence services carried out ” failed attempts” to repatriate him.
The dissident was the victim of a fierce campaign by the Saudi government against critics in 2017, which led to a wave of arrests against human rights defenders, and in 2018 he sought political asylum in the United Kingdom and from there runs the Sanad Rights Foundation , which documents human rights violations in the kingdom.
“The CGHR considers this to be a dangerous escalation after the shocking decades-long prison sentences handed down against human rights defenders (…) Saudi Arabia has been transformed into a repressive police state par excellence,” the NGO said in its statement, in which he recalled that dozens of activists have recently been arrested for their activities on the Internet.
The organization also said it “firmly believes that the death penalty has been widely used as a political tool by the Saudi authorities and is designed to sow fear in the country and terrorize citizens, particularly human rights activists.”
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a summit in Riyadh (Riyadh, Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS)
Saudi Arabia executed a total of 196 death row inmates in 2022, the highest number of death penalty applications in the Arab country in the last 30 years, denounced Amnesty International (AI) in its annual report on executions in the world.
Compared to 2021, executions have tripled in Saudi Arabia, when a total of 65 applications of the death penalty were registered, when a moratorium was in force for those convicted of drug-related crimes.
According to data provided to AI by the Saudi Human Rights Commission, of the 196 people executed this year, 85 were convicted of terrorism-related offenses and the other 57 on drug trafficking charges.
In fact, the Saudi authorities surpassed the 2021 execution record in a single day, when in March last year a total of 81 people were executed in a single day.
“For the second year in a row, recorded executions continued to rise at an alarming rate in Saudi Arabia, in stark contrast to the 27 recorded in the country in 2020,” the organization said in the report.
This has caused Saudi Arabia to once again lead the Arab countries that apply the death penalty and is responsible for 24% of all executions that took place in 2022 in the entire Middle East region, second only to They will go with a whopping 70%.
(With information from EFE)
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