Home Youth activism Saudi court upholds death sentences for two young Bahrainis

Saudi court upholds death sentences for two young Bahrainis

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Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has upheld the death sentences of two young Bahraini nationals on trumped-up terrorism charges.

Riyadh’s Supreme Court of Appeal has sentenced Sadiq Majid Thamer and Jaafar Mohammed Sultan to death after convicting them of “smuggling explosives” into the kingdom and involvement in terrorist activities.

Human rights organizations and an opposition protest movement called the rulings “unfair and arbitrary”, saying they were made on the basis of confessions extracted under torture.

It comes as social media activists have launched campaigns in solidarity with the two young Bahraini men, with human rights organizations and activists calling for an end to the “unjust” ruling and their immediate release.

Bahrain’s February 14 Revolution Youth Coalition has held the Saudi regime fully responsible for the safety of young people, calling on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to take office and urgently intervene to stop the crime .

The Bahraini opposition protest movement has also called on the international community to stand up against King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and prevent the execution of death sentences.

The February 14 Revolution Youth Coalition has demanded swift action to save the lives of the two young Bahraini nationals before it is too late, viewing the ruling Khalifah regime in Bahrain as a partner in any criminal action against the Arab nation.

Sultan and Thamer were arrested in May 2015 along the King Fahd causeway, which connects Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

They were held incommunicado for months after their arrest. Young Bahrainis have been subjected to systematic and deadly torture in an effort to extract false confessions.

Since bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader in 2017, the kingdom has arrested dozens of activists, bloggers, intellectuals and others perceived to be political opponents, showing near zero tolerance for the dissent, even in the face of international condemnation of the repression.

Muslim scholars have been executed and women’s rights activists put behind bars and tortured as freedom of expression, association and belief continues to be violated.

In recent years, Riyadh has also redefined its counterterrorism laws to target activism.

Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, Bahrain’s top cleric, said drafting a new constitution was the only way out of the political crisis in the small Persian Gulf country hit by protests, urging the regime of Manama to seek an agreement with the Bahraini opposition instead of increasingly suppressing dissent.

Demonstrations have taken place regularly in Bahrain since the start of a popular uprising in mid-February 2011.

The participants demand that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow the establishment of a just system representing all Bahrainis.

Manama, however, went to great lengths to suppress any sign of dissent.