TEHRAN (Basirat) : International rights groups say Saudi Arabia plans to execute 14 Shia civilians following a "grossly unfair trial" over political protests.
"The rise in death sentences against Saudi Arabian Shia is alarming and suggests
that the authorities are using the death penalty to settle scores and crush
dissent under the guise of combating 'terrorism' and maintaining national
security," said Human Rights Watch’s Sarah Leah Whitson on Tuesday.
Court documents seen by Amnesty International have revealed that a total of 38
defendants were detained and kept in pre-trial detention for over two years
before their trial began.
For most of the time they were held in solitary confinement and their families
denied access to them.
"The sham court proceedings that led to death sentences … brazenly flout
international fair trial standards,” said Amnesty’s Middle East Director Lynn
"Death sentences based on coerced "confessions” violate international human
rights law and are a repugnant yet all-too-common outcome in security-related
cases in Saudi Arabia,” added Maalouf. "These death penalty trials fail to meet
even the most basic requirements for due process,” she noted.
"The sentences should immediately be quashed,” she added.
SOURCE : PRESSTV