The Saudi Arabian government is trying to execute an 18-year-old for participating in an anti-government protest when he was 10 years old.
Saudi authorities are looking to execute Murtaja Qureiris, 18, who Saudi authorities arrested at the age of 13 for participating in dissident protest and other forms of rebellion against the government, CNN reported.
He may receive one of the harshest execution sentences, including possible crucifixion, as punishment for his alleged crimes against the government, according to CNN.
“Though the prosecution has not held Qureiris responsible for any loss of life, CNN has learned that it is seeking to impose the harshest form of the death penalty, which may include crucifixion or dismemberment after execution,” the CNN report reads.
Exclusive: When Murtaja Qureiris was 10, he led protests demanding rights for Saudi Arabia’s Shia minority. Now, at the age of 18, he faces the death penalty https://t.co/fYOaZ3tL89
— CNN (@CNN) June 7, 2019
He is said to have participated in a protest in 2011 where he and 30 other children rode their bikes through a city in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province and protested for human rights in Saudi Arabia, according to the report. (RELATED: Khashoggi Death Was Premeditated Murder By Saudis, Says Turkish President Erdogan)
He reportedly shouted, “The people demand human rights!” through a megaphone as he rode through the streets.
Other charges include an incident where he allegedly through a Molotov cocktail at a police station in Awamiya while riding on the back of his brother Ali Qureiris’s motorcycle as he drove. Police reportedly killed Ali Qureiris during a 2012 protest.
Murtaja Qureiris was also reportedly charged with protesting the Saudi government at his brother’s funeral.
Saudi prosecutors are pushing the death penalty in Murtaja Qureiris’s case, claiming that his actions in organizing dissident protest as a 10-year-old during the Arab Spring made him a part of “an extremist terror group,” according to CNN.
“There should be no doubt that the Saudi Arabian authorities are ready to go to any length to crack down on dissent against their own citizens, including by resorting to the death penalty for men who were merely boys at the time of their arrest,” Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director Lynn Maalouf said in a statement.
“It is appalling that Murtaja Qureiris is facing execution for offences that include taking part in protests while he was just 10 years old,” she continued.
Saudi authorities have detained Murtaja Qureiris since his arrest as a 13-year-old in 2014, 15 months of which was spent in solitary confinement, according to CNN.
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