Saudi citizens face beheading for peaceful protest

(Flash Back: Saudis Move to Behead Female Activist as Facebook Censors Anti-Saudi Content
Although Saudi Arabia has killed or injured several thousand women in neighboring Yemen, beheading a female is completely unprecedented inside the Kingdom thus far. (Photo credit:

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor has confirmed that Israa al-Ghomgham, a women’s rights activist imprisoned since 2015, is no longer under the threat of execution. The prosecutor had initially recommended a death sentence for alleged crimes connected with non-violent protests against the government and her work as a human rights defender.

Reprieve and the European-Saudi Organisation for Human Rights confirmed the Prosecution’s decision, which now recommends charges carrying penalties including a lengthy prison term, fines and confiscation of assets. Four other people arrested at the same peaceful demonstration, including Israa’s husband, still face death sentences for similar charges.

In the first month of 2019, Saudi Arabia executed 23 people, of whom 16 were foreign nationals. At least eight young men are at risk of imminent execution for offences committed as juveniles and connected to exercising their fundamental right to peaceful assembly.

Reprieve Director Maya Foa said: “This is welcome news, but the fact that four people arrested alongside Israa al-Ghomgham could still be beheaded for attending a protest shows how capricious Saudi Arabia’s use of the death penalty continues to  be under Mohammad Bin Salman. This is repression, not reform.

Teenage protesters like Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon and Mujtaba Sweikatremain on death row and could be executed at any time. The international community must keep up the pressure on Saudi Arabia and demand their immediate release.”


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About Cholo Brooks 14446 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.