Saudi Teenager, Arrested At 13, Spared From Execution
Murtaja Qureiris, an eighteen-year-old Saudi teenager who had been facing the death penalty has been spared and sentenced to 12 years in prison, according to CNN.
Qureris was thirteen back in the day when he was arrested for anti-government protests. As per the Saudi court`s decision, Qureiris has been sentenced to 12 years including 4 years probation so Qureris might be out of prison by 2022. It is pertained to mention here that Qureiris belongs to the Shia minority of the kingdom.
Qureiris was only 11 years old when his brother Ali Qureiris died in anti-government protests described as violent by the Kingdom. The kingdom`s law enforcement has often described protests in eastern parts as rather violent creating turmoil where protesters attack law enforcement installations.
While International pressure was mounting on Saudia Arabia pertaining to Qureris`s execution, the Austrian government moved to shut down a Saudi led center for religious dialogue in Vienna. According to the Austrian Foreign Ministry, this was an attempt to prevent the eighteen-year-old from being executed.
International Human Rights organizations including Amnesty International took to twitter expressing “much relief” to the Qureiris decision.
Much relief to learn that Saudi authorities confirm that #MurtajaQureiris will NOT be sentenced to death. #EndDeathPenalty #SaudiArabia https://t.co/c2jBKvQd6E
— Amnesty Gulf (@amnestygulf) June 16, 2019
According to CNN if Qureiris would have been executed, he would join at least three other minors executed before the age of 18. These three minors were part of the 37 convicts which were executed back in April. Amnesty International had already termed the execution as “grossly unfair”.
Rounding up high profile businessmen, women`s rights activists, anti-government clerics, etc have been quite prevalent in the Kingdom since the thirty-three-year-old crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman took the throne.
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