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News > Saudi Arabia

Saudi Teen Faces Death Penalty for Protesting When He Was 10

  • Saudi Arabia prosecutors' seeking capital punishment for a teenager.

    Saudi Arabia prosecutors' seeking capital punishment for a teenager. | Photo: Reuters

Published 11 June 2019

Saudi Arabia is seeking the death penalty for a teenager who participated in few anti-government rally when he was 10-years-old. 

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty of a teenager for taking part in a Shia-led protest when he was 10-years-old.


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Murtaja Qureiris, now 18, was detained when he was 13-years-old. Since then he has been on trial for charges like joining a “terror group” and “sowing sedition.”

He was also charged for taking part in an anti-government rally in 2011 when he was 11-years-old. The rally took place after the funeral of his older brother killed during an Arab Spring protest.

The Shia minority in Saudi Arabia launched a protest that year demanding equal rights in resources.

Since his detention in 2014, Qureiris has been in solitary confinement for a large part of the time.

“It is appalling that Murtaja Qureiris is facing execution for offenses that include taking part in protests while he was just 10 years old,” Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East research director, said in a statement.

“The Saudi Arabian authorities have a chilling track record of using the death penalty as a weapon to crush political dissent and punish anti-government protesters — including children — from the country’s persecuted Shia minority.”

In April the kingdom carried out a mass execution of 37 men, mostly from Shia community which ignited fear about Qureiris’ life.

Details of his case were brought forth after CNN reported in 2018 the intention of capital punishment for him. He has also been charged with throwing Molotov cocktails at a police station with his brother.

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