Friday 28-07-2017 - 16:44
The government of Saudi Arabia is currently planning to execute 14 people for their involvement in pro-democracy protests. One of the accused is a student. Below is an open letter written to the Minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt.
I am writing to you on behalf of over 7 million students that I represent in over 650 Students’ Unions, to express my urgent concerns about the 14 Saudi Arabian young men accused of pro-democracy protest-related offences, who are facing imminent execution.
The group includes a student, Mujtaba al-Sweikat, who was arrested at King Fahd International Airport as he was about to board a plane to the US where he had a place at Western Michigan University. After his arrest, Mujtaba was burnt with cigarettes and tortured so badly that his shoulder was broken. He was then denied medical care and sentenced to death on the basis of a forced "confession".
Some of the charges against Mujtaba relate to alleged offences committed when he was a child. This means his execution would be illegal under international law.
Those facing execution alongside Mujtaba include another juvenile who signed a forced ‘confession’, and a disabled man – Munir al Adam – who was tortured so badly that he was rendered completely deaf in one ear.
The Prime Minister has recently highlighted the UK’s “long-term and historic relationship” with Saudi Arabia. Given this, the UK government has both the power and responsibility to intervene and prevent this clear breach of international law.
We would appreciate an urgent assurance that the government will intervene to prevent this horrendous abuse of human rights.
I look forward to hearing from you soon,
NUS Vice-President (Society & Citizenship)
There is a petition with over 35,000 signatures which you can sign here. Please sign and share with your students.