- The Washington Times - Friday, September 18, 2015

A prisoner in Saudi Arabia, who was arrested when he was 17 years old, faces “death by crucifixion” after his final appeal was dismissed this week. 

Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was arrested in February 2012 and accused of taking part in anti-government protests and illegally possessing firearms, he was sentenced to death by crucifixion in 2014, International Business Times reported

The case reportedly hinges on Mr. al-Nimr’s family connection to Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a 53-year-old critic of the Saudi regime, and the teen’s uncle. 

The elder Mr. al-Nimr is scheduled to be executed by crucifixion this week, but there has been no confirmation of the sentence being carried out so far. Activists fear the younger Mr. al-Nimr will be executed within a few days.

Mr. al-Nimr was initially held at a juvenile offenders facility where he was denied access to lawyers and reportedly tortured and forced to sign a false confession. 

The signed confession formed the basis of the case against him, and Mr. al-Nimr was convicted of the alleged offenses by the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC). But the trials failed to meet international standards and his appeal was held in secret without Mr. al-Nimr knowing about it, according to International Business Times. 

“No one should have to go through the ordeal Ali has suffered — torture, forced ‘confession,’ and an unfair, secret trial process, resulting in a sentence of death by ‘crucifixion.’ But worse still, Ali was a vulnerable child when he was arrested and this ordeal began,” said Maya Foa, director of the death penalty team at legal charity Reprieve.

“His execution — based apparently on the authorities’ dislike for his uncle, and his involvement in anti-government protests — would violate international law and the most basic standards of decency. It must be stopped,” she said, International Business Times reported. 

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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