A young protester in Saudi Arabia will be beheaded, after which his body will be crucified in public and left to rot.
Last week, an appelate court in the kingdom upheld the sentence of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, 21, who was arrested in 2012 when he was 17. Al-Nimr was picked up by the police while taking part in a protest by Shiite Muslims in Qatif, an eastern province of the country. The eastern provinces of the desert kingdom are home to Saudi Arabia’s 2.7 million minority Shiites.
Al-Nimr was charged with a variety of crimes, including being part of a terrorist organization, carrying weapons and throwing Molotov cocktails at security forces. He was also accused of using his phone to encourage others to protest and explaining to them how to give first aid. The charges are based on his confession, which he says was obtained through torture.
During his “trial,” in which he was denied a lawyer, charges of torture that al-Nimr raised were not addressed, according to the anti-death penalty charity Reprieve.
Relatives of al-Nimr say he is being punished for the activities of his famous uncle, Sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr, a Shiite imam, known for his strident political activism and speeches against Saudi Arabia’s Sunni rulers. Sheikh al-Nimr has also been imprisoned and sentenced to death on terrorism charges as well as “waging war on God” during the Shiite uprising in Qatif at the beginning of the Arab Spring.