Time to revoke dying penalty for social media dissent, UN specialists urge

Mr. Al Ghamdi was arrested by the Saudi safety companies on 11 June 2022 and charged with prison offences for opinions he expressed on social media platforms X and YouTube.

The costs included “betrayal of his faith, nation, and rulers;” “spreading false rumours with intent to disrupt public order and destabilise safety;” and “supporting terrorist ideology and a terrorist group.”

‘Heinous crimes’

On 10 July this yr, Saudi Arabia’s Specialised Felony Courtroom discovered Mr. Al Ghamdi responsible and sentenced him to dying. Based on the court docket, Mr. Al Ghamdi was being severely punished for “heinous crimes” that have been allegedly “amplified by way of a world media platform.”

“The mere expression of crucial views on-line can’t meet the edge beneath worldwide legislation for the imposition of the dying penalty,” urged the human rights specialists.

“On no account do the alleged crimes represent the ‘most critical’ crimes,” they added.

‘Clear and chilling message’

The Human Rights Council-appointed specialists confused that freedom of expression and opinion have been crucial to reaching a free and democratic society and sustainable improvement.

“It’s alarming that Saudi Arabia’s punishments for on-line expression embrace the dying penalty or jail sentences of a number of a long time beneath anti-terrorism legal guidelines. These punishments are fully inconsistent with worldwide legislation and human rights requirements,” the specialists mentioned.

“The arrest, detention and sentencing to dying of Muhammad Al Ghamdi sends a transparent and chilling message to all those that want to categorical themselves freely in Saudi Arabia.”

‘Flagrant violation’ of human rights

The human rights specialists urged the Specialised Felony Courtroom and different judicial establishments in Saudi Arabia to grant Mr. Al Ghamdi a keep of execution, or non permanent maintain on authorized proceedings.

“We’re deeply involved by stories that Mr. Al Ghamdi’s psychological well being has deteriorated since his detention, aggravated by the shortage of medical care and the circumstances of his detention,” the specialists mentioned.

“This sentence, if carried out, would represent a flagrant violation of worldwide human rights requirements and might be thought of an arbitrary execution.”

Particular Rapporteurs

Particular Rapporteurs are a part of the Particular Procedures of the Human Rights Council, work on a voluntary and unpaid foundation, aren’t UN workers, and work independently from any authorities or organisation.

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