A Saudi court sentenced two young activists, Reda AlRubh and Ali AlNemer, to death. The prosecutor demanded sentencing tens of other activists to death. They are waiting for the decision of the court.
While the pro-Western Saudi government attempts to silence opposition by sentencing activists to death, protestors continue demonstrating in several parts of Saudi Arabia--especially Qatif, the hometown of AlRubh, 26, and AlNemer, 20. The sentences on the two young protestors were announced on May 27 and 28. However, protests have been ongoing since then and according to activists, more upcoming demonstrations will take place until all political detainees are released.
AlNemer was arrested on February 14, 2012 when he was 17 years old. Like most other political prisoners in Saudi Arabia, AlNemer and AlRubh were both subjected to ill treatment and solitary confinement. According to the European Saudi Society for Human Rights, confessions that led to death sentences were extracted under torture.
The death sentence, in whatever way, is brutal. AlRubh is facing what is described as a regular death sentence by the sword. AlNemer is being sentenced to death in the form of crucifixion. Although the Saudi government uses medieval practices in responding to dissent, it remains one of the West’s strongest allies in the region as a counter-revolutionary force.
Hundreds have been arrested since 2011 when pro-democracy protestors in Saudi Arabia, inspired by the Arab Spring, took to the streets demanding an end to discrimination, oppression and poverty. Unlike other pro-democracy movements, there has been an international code of silence towards the ongoing violations of the Saudi monarchy due to imperialist support.
If you like this article, register for Marxism 2014: Resisting a System in Crisis. Sessions include "Global resistance to imperialism," "Ukraine and inter-imperial rivalry," and "1917: from war to revolution"