In Saudi Arabia, a man has been mercilessly tortured and then beheaded, under government orders, for sending a WhatsApp message when he was 16.
Abdulkarim al-Hawaj, 21, was tortured with electricity before getting beheaded by the Saudi Arabia government. This man was accused of being a terrorist when he incited others during an anti-government protest in the Arab state.
He was arrested for sending this message when he was 16 years old. He has been facing torture and persecution until he confessed to the crimes.
The young man was a member of the Muslim community called Shiite Muslim. This group of Muslims has been experiencing constant harassment in Saudi Arabia since the government in this country is run by Sunni Muslims.
Sunni Muslims have been known to be great rivals to Shiite Muslims.
The surprising thing is that Abdulkarim al-Hawaj was never offered a lawyer to defend him during his trial. His confession was compelled through extreme torture.
The captors of Abdulkarim al-Hawaj also threatened him with killing all of his family members if he failed to confess to the crime. According to Amnesty International, the decision was a farce. The confession he gave was illegitimate and out of torture, a human rights group claims.
He didn’t receive fair and proper representation, Amnesty added.
The 21-year-old man was among the other 36 men decapitated in public.
Abdulkarim al-Hawaj was convicted against international law, which states that nobody under 18 years should be condemned to death. Other teenagers have been reported to have been arrested for attending the anti-government protest, such as Mujtaba al-Sweikat. The kid was only 17 years old.
According to Harriet McCulloch, Reprieve Deputy Director, the protest these two young men were involved in were peaceful demonstrations. The men were never terrorists, and they only shared peaceful protests through their phones.
McCulloh also urged the western allies of Saudi Arabia to intervene and prevent more young people from being killed just for exercising their freedom of expression.
Middle East Research Director Lynn Maalouf, at Amnesty International, said the regime in Saudi Arabia is using violence to express different political opinions. She also added that the government’s death sentences act as a way of silencing and weakening the country’s minority group, Shiite Muslims.
It was also discovered that the victims could even be crucified during mass public executions.
One of the largest Shiites’ mass executions in history was when 47 people were arrested for terrorist activities. The 47 victims were massacred the same day, on 2nd January 2016.
About 100 people have also been executed in Saudi Arabia this year. And a report from unknown sources says the government is planning to condemn to death more people this year than they did in 2018.
Last year, 149 people were killed in Saudi Arabia. Most of the victims of these killings were drug smugglers. It’s against International law to condemn to death someone who have committed non-violent crimes.
Michelle Bachelet, the UN Human Rights High Commissioner, has also condemned this execution in Saudi Arabia.
According to Donald Trump, the United States President, he doesn’t want to lose Saudi Arabia. The US depends much on this Kingdom through oil and other products.