UN calls on Saudi authorities to stop execution of minors and to hand over body of executed young man to his family
This is also available in: العربية (Arabic) متوفر ايضا باللغة
Translated and edited by: The Committee for Justice
Geneva, 5 September 2021
United Nations human rights experts renewed their demands for the Saudi authorities to abolish the death penalty for all crimes, including hudud crimes, and to ensure the return of the body of the young Mustafa al-Darwish, who was executed according to the crimes he committed when he was less than eighteen years old.
In a memorandum sent to the Saudi government on July 7, 2021, the UN experts confirmed that the Darwish case was the subject of previous memos in which they expressed their concerns that his execution was based on crimes he committed while he was a minor, amid allegations that he had been subjected to torture and was not given a fair trial.
The experts expressed their shock at the Saudi authorities’ failure to comply with the urgent appeal sent before the execution of Darwish to stop the execution, and that according to them, their concerns were left unheard or addressed.
The experts added in their memorandum that the Saudi authorities did not provide any information to Darwish’s family about the date, time and place of the execution, and the family was not even able to see him for the last time before the execution of the sentence, that they only learned of the news of his execution via the Internet, and that his body was not returned to his family. So far, no information has been provided to his relatives about his burial place.
The experts expressed their regret over the secret execution of Darwish, reiterating that any death sentence is carried out in contravention of the Kingdom’s obligations under international law and amounts to an arbitrary and therefore illegal execution.
The experts called on the Saudi authorities to ensure that the corpse of Darwish is returned to his family without delay, and to provide them with comprehensive official information about the execution. Under qisas and hudud punishments, and consider imposing an official moratorium on all executions as a first step towards the complete abolition of the death penalty in the kingdom.