End The Death Penalty In the news

Families urge UK to save men on Saudi death row

The families of two young men awaiting execution in Saudi Arabia for crimes allegedly committed as minors have appealed to the foreign secretary to raise their cases.

Dominic Raab is due to visit Saudi Arabia this week and human rights groups say that the authorities there have taken notice in the past of calls for clemency from British leaders.

Saudi Arabia has announced it has abolished the death penalty for minors in most cases but at least two youths arrested for offences allegedly committed while under 18 remain on death row.

Abdullah al-Huwaiti was convicted in 2019 of murder and armed robbery in 2017, when he was 14. He says he was forced to confess under torture and that closed circuit television footage shows he was elsewhere at the time of the crime. Murder is one of the offences excluded from the moratorium on the death penalty for juveniles.

Mustafa Hashim al-Darwish was arrested in 2015 for taking part in protests and other “terrorist” crimes more than three years earlier, when he was 17. Those offences are covered by the moratorium and other young men in his position have had their sentences reviewed and changed, but Darwish is said to be at “immediate risk” of execution.

Read the full story in the Times.