Close Guantánamo In the news

A man was executed for an alleged crime when he was a teen. More Saudis could follow.

Six years ago, Saudi Arabian authorities arrested Mustafa Hashem al-Darwish and charged him with attending anti-government protests years earlier, when he was 17. According to Reprieve, a U.K. nonprofit that investigates human rights abuses, a court found al-Darwish guilty and sentenced him to death, despite the fact that he was a minor at the time he allegedly attended the protests.

On Tuesday, without warning, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of the Interior announced al-Darwish, then 26, had been executed. The announcement, released in Arabic, accused al-Darwish of “using arms to revolt against the ruler, destabilizing security and forming an armed terrorist cell.”

Groups like the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch say authorities tortured al-Darwish and others charged with childhood offences until they confessed.

Abdullah al-Huwaiti is one of those people who have been sentenced to death for an alleged childhood crime. More than 26,000 people have signed a Reprieve petition to prevent his execution.

Read the full story at National Public Radio.