Saudi Arabia to execute teen for ‘crime’ committed when he was just 9

Saudi Arabian authorities are reportedly set to execute a teenager for a crime he committed when he was just nine.

Mohammad Essam Al- Faraj was sentenced death for taking part in the funeral of a victim of a man killed in the by the Saudi special forces.

He was just nine when he committed the alleged crime.

The 18-year-old is now due to die along with four other activists who were reportedly juveniles when they committed their offences.

The European Saudi Organisation for Human rights (ESOHR) named the others as Ahmad Abdel Al-Wahid Al-Faraj, Ali Mohammad Al-Bitti, Mohammad Hussain Al-Nimr, Ali Hassan Al-Faraj.

Saudi Arabian authorities will reportedly execute the five for crimes during the 2012 crackdown on Shia dissent.

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Ahmad Abdel Al-Wahid Al-Faraj and Ali Mohammad Al-Bitti, both 20 years old, face unspecified charges related to two wanted suspects when they were 13 years old.

Mohammad Hussain Al-Nimr, 22, faces a charge of participating in the funeral of a victim of extrajudicial killings when he was 14 years old, according to ESOHR.

Details of Ali Hassan Al-Faraj’s charges were not given.

According to local media, the suspects have been waiting in prison for over two years, where they have been subjected to torture, solitary confinement, denial of access to a lawyer and long-term detention before appearing in court.

ESOHR said that at least 10 other minors are currently facing execution in Saudi Arabia.

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Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia has one of the world's highest rates of execution and human rights groups have repeatedly raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom.

According to local media, 184 people were executed in the kingdom in 2019, and human rights groups have accused Saudi Arabia's royal family of condoning torture in recent years.

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In November 2018, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch claimed that numerous human rights activists and clerics had been unlawfully arrested and several had been either flogged, electrocuted or sexually harassed.

Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom have been close strategic allies since the time of the First World War. The kingdom is the United Kingdom's main trading partner in the Middle East and the UK is Saudi Arabia's closest European ally.

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