Minister of Justice, Dr. Waleed Mohammad Al Samaani,
Cc: His Excellency Mr. Faisal Bin Hassan Trad, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva.
7 July 2015
We are writing to you to to express our deepest concern about the cases of Ali Mohammed al-Nimer and Dawood Hussain al-Marhoon, who were sentenced to death in May and October 2014.
The sentencing of these two young men to death for offences they committed while children is in direct contravention of Saudi Arabia's commitments under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which includes an absolute prohibition on the death penalty for any offence committed while under the age of 18.
We also write to express our concern about the reports of violence and ill-treatment of the two young men during their questioning and detention. We have received reports that Ali received severe beatings while detained at a juvenile observation home in Dammam and that he was coerced into signing a confession which he did not have the capacity to understand. We have also received reports that Dawood sustained beatings, electric shocks and other ill-treatment during his detention.
Such treatment, a serious violation of the rights of these two young men in itself, renders unreliable any information obtained as a result and leaves any resulting conviction unsafe. We call on you to immediately halt proceedings to carry out these executions, to release both young men, to pursue a thorough and impartial investigation into these allegations and hold to account any person found responsible for ill-treatment.
To proceed with the executions of these two young men without proper investigation into the allegations that confessions were coerced under torture and despite the fact that both men were children at the time of the alleged offences would be an unambiguous violation of Saudi Arabia's international obligations.
European-Saudi Organisation for Human Rights
Child Rights International Network (CRIN)
Defence for Children International (DCI)
International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates (IAYFJM)
International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO)
Terre des Hommes International Federation