Family of Saudi disabled death-row protester appeal for help
July 31, 2017
The family of a disabled man who faces execution in Saudi Arabia for allegedly attending protests have appealed for help to save his life – and given fresh details of the abuses he has suffered.
Munir al-Adam was arrested in 2012 in the midst of a Saudi crackdown on political protests. Born with a hearing and sight impairment, Munir was tortured so badly by Saudi police that he became completely deaf in one ear. He was forced to sign a false confession, later used to sentence him to death in a secretive trial. Last weekend, the Saudi Supreme Court confirmed Munir’s death sentence, along with those handed to 13 other alleged protesters. He could now be executed at any time.
In a statement given to human rights organization Reprieve, Munir’s family said: “We are issuing a warning of our son’s potential imminent execution. Now that he has been sentenced to death and the verdict has been confirmed by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, his case is with the Ministry of Interior to carry out his execution.”
The family also gave details of Munir’s secretive trial before the Specialized Criminal Court, the Kingdom’s secret anti-terrorism court, which has handed death sentences to scores of alleged protesters. The family said that during the proceedings, Munir and his lawyer were “subjected to threats”, eventually forcing the lawyer to recuse himself from the case. The judge refused to consider any evidence beyond Munir’s false confession, the family said, “despite our repeated requests [to the Court] to produce any evidence proving our son’s guilt.”
Detailing his torture, they said: “Munir was subjected to various methods of torture, including the falaka (foot whipping) technique, being forced to stand for long periods of time, sleep deprivation, being beaten with a stick, wire or hose, being shocked with electricity, and being prevented from using the toilets. […] Munir has been held in solitary confinement for more than a month now.”
Last week, US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May faced calls to intervene to prevent the executions – including from British MPs from across the parties, who have asked Mrs May to “personally urge Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Bin Salman to halt the 14 upcoming executions.”
Commenting, Director of Reprieve Maya Foa said:
“The Saudi authorities have put Munir and his family through an appalling ordeal. It is deeply worrying that the courts have confirmed the death sentences handed to Munir and 13 others – including juveniles – after patently unfair trials, which introduced no evidence beyond the defendants’ coerced confessions. The UK, US and other governments that are close to the Saudis must waste no time – they must intervene now and urge Saudi Arabia to halt these planned executions, before it’s too late.”
Notes to Editors:
1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization. Reprieve’s London office can be contacted on: email@example.com.