A second teenager is set to beheaded in Saudi Arabia for his role in protests, it was reported today.
Dawoud al-Marhoon had his conviction upheld by a court just days after a similar case involving another youth sparked an international outcry.
Al-Marhoon was 17 when he was arrested by Saudi security forces in May 2012, at the height of protests in the country’s Eastern Province.
He was reportedly tortured and made to sign a ‘confession’ that was later said to have been relied on to convict him.
A second teenager is set to beheaded in Saudi Arabia for protesting, it has emerged – days after the case of Ali al-Nimr (pictured, above), who is due to be crucified for his role in demonstrations, sparked global outcry
He has been held in solitary confinement and has been barred from speaking to his lawyer, say human rights campaigners Reprieve.
Last week, the Specialised Criminal Court upheld Dawoud’s conviction and sentenced him to death by beheading.
His case follows that of Ali al-Nimr who faces a sentence of ‘crucifixion’ – involving beheading and the public display of his body – for his role in protests in 2012 when he was only 17 years old.
He was charged with attending a protest, teaching first aid to demonstrators and using his Blackberry phone to urge more people to join in.
Al-Nimr sentence has prompted strong international criticism, with the French government and a group of UN experts among those calling for a halt to the executions.
With legal avenues exhausted, both juveniles could now be executed at any time, without prior notification to their families.
The executions are expected to go ahead despite concerns about the fairness of both trials, says Reprieve.
Ali al-Nimr faces a sentence of ‘crucifixion’ – involving beheading and the public display of his body – for his role in protests in 2012 when he was only 17 years old
Speaking to the BBC on Sunday, British Prime Minister David Cameron said his message to the Saudi government was ‘don’t do it’, adding that ‘we never stint in telling them that we don’t agree with them on these human rights issues.’
However, Mr Cameron’s government has been criticised for continuing with a Ministry of Justice bid to provide services to the Saudi prison system.
Concerns were also raised last week about the UK’s foreign policy priorities after Sir Simon McDonald, Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Office, told MPs that human rights no longer had the ‘profile’ within his department that they had ‘in the past’.
Maya Foa, director of the death penalty team at Reprieve, said: ‘Ali al-Nimr’s case has rightly prompted revulsion among the international community.
‘It is therefore horrifying that the Saudi government is pushing ahead with plans to exact a similarly brutal sentence on another juvenile, Dawoud al-Marhoon.
Extreme punishment: Saudi Arabia has threatened to execute those who spread rumours about the government on social media (file photo of a state execution)
‘It’s also deeply disappointing to see the U.S. and the UK – who are among the Saudis’ closest allies – failing to intervene strongly to stop these executions from going ahead.
‘It is grossly hypocritical for David Cameron to say he opposes these sentences, while his government is bidding to support the very prisons service who will be responsible for carrying them out.
‘The British government must urgently change its priorities – ministers must cancel the bid and call unequivocally on Saudi Arabia to halt the executions.’
Yesterday, it emerged that Saudi Arabia had also threatened to execute those who ‘spread rumours’ about the government on social media.
It is the first time the Gulf nation has created a rule to punish ordinary people for what they say on Twitter and Facebook, Reprieve told MailOnline.
There are already laws and departments to censor mass media in the country, which is known to crush dissidence with capital punishment.
Only the worst ‘rumour-mongers’ will be executed, while lesser offenders will be punished with lashes, imprisonment, travel bans, house arrest and a social media ban, a Ministry of Justice source is quoted to have said.