On Tuesday, June 15, 2021, the Saudi authorities executed the young man Mustafa Hashem Al Darwish, after upholding the death sentence against him late last month in a politicized trial that was unfair and lacked all standards of fair trials.
Together for Justice condemns this act of the Saudi authorities and consider it a premeditated murder, as the Saudi law stipulates that those who committed crimes under the age of 18 should not be executed, in addition to the fact that the crimes that Mustafa was accused of committing were not violent or worthy of such heavy punishment, which was – according to Mustafa and his family’s testimony- participating in demonstrations against the authorities about ten years ago.
Mustafa, who was executed at the age of 26, was accused of committing crimes between 2011 and 2012, that is, when he was a minor and was arrested in 2015 for his participation in those events. However, the official indictment did not specify the dates of his alleged crimes. Although the authorities confirm that he is accused of committing crimes after he turned 19, the concerned authorities did not disclose the exact timing of the crimes.
A Saudi court had upheld the death sentence against Mustafa Hashem Al Darwish, who was arrested as a child in 2015 for his alleged participation in anti-government riots in the Shiite-majority Eastern Province.
After exhausting all legal means, the Darwish case was referred to the Presidency of State Security before the final ratification by the Saudi monarch.
According to Mustafa’s relatives, he was subjected to prolonged detention before a politicized and unfair trial, in harsh conditions, including severe physical torture.
It is worth noting that the Saudi King, King Salman, had issued a royal decree last April to end death sentences for crimes committed at a time when the accused were minors, and according to the royal order, the juvenile system issued in 2018, applies to those who were sentenced to s final death sentence before its issuance, and the system provided that: “If a juvenile is between 15 and 18 years of age, and has committed a crime punishable by death, it is sufficient to place him in a juveniles home for a period not exceeding ten years.”
Together for Justice totally (TFJ) rejects all convictions issued in cases related to the expression of opinion, whether they are prison sentences or death sentences, and we call on the relevant UN bodies and Western governments cooperating with the Saudi regime to intervene urgently to stop the implementation of these sentences and put pressure to ensure the release of all political detainees and granting them all their rights.
The organization also affirms that the current Saudi judicial system suffers from clear politicization and therefore it is not possible to trust any ruling issued by it, due to their refusal to open any investigations into the statements of those accused of being subjected to torture or any other violations, and in return, it has turned into a tool in the hands of the regime to abuse opponents and discredit them.
TFJ calls on the international community to intervene urgently to put an end to the Saudi violations, which have reached an unprecedented level. The international silence is encouraging it to continue committing more crimes against its people while enjoying impunity for the crimes they committed.
The organization called on the Saudi judicial authorities to comply with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s decision to “stop the implementation of final judicial rulings issued for the death penalty as a constraint on juveniles, including all persons who did not reach the age of 18 at the time of committing the crime, including those convicted by execution for terrorist crimes.”