UPDATE: According to reports, Mohammed al-Nimr has now been released.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Reprieve) – The father of a juvenile sentenced to death by ‘crucifixion’ in Saudi Arabia was arrested today.
Mohammed al-Nimr, the father of Ali al-Nimr – a juvenile who has been sentenced to death by ‘crucifixion’ having been arrested when he was 17 for attending protests – was reportedly arrested today on unknown charges. He is currently being held at Al Awamiyah police station where his son and another juvenile – Dawoud al-Marhoon, also sentenced to death for attending protests – were first detained.
Yesterday, the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the UK wrote an article in the Daily Telegraph in which he complained that the UK was not showing enough ‘respect’ to the gulf Kingdom, after a controversial Ministry of Justice bid to work with the Saudi prison system was withdrawn, seemingly on the basis of human rights concerns.
Mohammed al-Nimr has been vocal in calling for a commutation of his son’s death sentence by the Saudi authorities. Earlier this month he gave an interview to CNN in which he said that he and his family were ‘extremely worried’ about his son’s fate.
Kate Higham, caseworker at international human rights NGO Reprieve, said:
“It is absolutely outrageous that Mohammed al-Nimr has been arrested, seemingly just for speaking out to save the life of his son. If the Saudi authorities have any concern for due process, human rights, or basic humanity, Mohammed al-Nimr must be released at once. The UK government and all those who have expressed concern about Ali al-Nimr’s case must act now to prevent this illegal detention from continuing, and must re-double their efforts to prevent Ali’s execution – and that of Dawoud al-Marhoon – from happening.”
This report was prepared by Reprieve.
Reprieve is a small organisation of courageous and committed human rights defenders. Founded in 1999 by British human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, we provide free legal and investigative support to some of the world’s most vulnerable people: British, European and other nationals facing execution, and those victimised by states’ abusive counter-terror policies – rendition, torture, extrajudicial imprisonment and extrajudicial killing.