Thursday, September 17, 2015

Nightmare on justice street: Saudi edition

I am hoping that this isn't true:
 Saudi Arabia is expected to literally crucify a man for crimes committed when he was a teenager. Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was arrested for anti-government protests in 2012, when he was 17 years old. He was also charged with firearms crimes, but his supporters say the government coerced a confession. Al-Nimr is the nephew of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a Shiite cleric critical of the regime who has also been sentenced to death by crucifixion. Sheikh al-Nimr is expected to be executed Thursday, raising fears that Ali al-Nimr—whose last appeal was held in secret and denied—will be executed alongside him.
If this is true, and there is reason to believe it is not, since a quick google search only references the International Business Times and even less reputable outlets as sources, then there are at least 3 very wrong things about it:

  • executing people for political crimes
  • executing people for crimes committed as a teenager
  • executing people by cruxifiction 

We can also enumerate the procedural justice concerns: coerced confessions, secret appeals. But let's hope this is a rumor not based in fact. On the other hand, this is Saudi Arabia, where people frequently lack other hands as a result of judicial punishments, and where a political dissident continues to face nearly a thousand lashes in retribution for blogging.

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