The youngest prisoner of conscience is sentenced to eight years in prison

Human rights sources revealed that the specialized criminal court affiliated with the Saudi regime issued the final judgment against the young, Murtaja Qurairis, the youngest prisoner of conscience in the Kingdom, to eight years.

The verdict was issued against Qurairis, nearly six years after his arrest, due to his participation in protests for the rights of the Shiite minority in the Kingdom.

He was arrested by the Saudi authorities when he was 13 years old, and it took four years after his arrest to charge him. One of the charges was joining a terrorist organization.

And the claim of the Public Prosecution in the Saudi regime to issue a death sentence against Qurairis for “terrorism and incitement to rebellion” has sparked widespread condemnation from Arab and international human rights organizations, which forced the regime to retreat.

Qurairis was arrested in 2014 when he was 13, due to his participation in demonstrations in the predominantly Shiite area of ​​Qatif in the east of the Kingdom. Human rights organizations consider him the youngest prisoner of conscience in the Kingdom.

The call for the implementation of the death penalty against him came after “Qurairis was forced to sign confessions on charges he did not commit, under torture and under the pressure of solitary confinement,” as he stated in a tweet to the network of detainees of public opinion at the time.

He spent 15 months in solitary confinement during the past four years, according to the American CNN.

The Arab Organization for Human Rights indicated that Qurairis belongs to a family lost by the Saudi regime, his older brother Ali, who was shot dead by the Saudi security forces on December 23, 2011, and his father was arrested despite his deteriorating health, while his activist brother Rida is detained in prison Dammam Investigation since June 1, 2014″.

The border police of Nizam al-Saud Qurairis was arrested in 2014 while on his way to the neighboring country, Bahrain, with his family, and was then placed in an individual cell in a prison designated for minors. For years he remained without trial, during which he was denied access to any lawyer.

Media reported that Qurairis was chasing him before he arrested the kingdom’s authorities against the backdrop of demonstrations by Shiite Saudis, which the country witnessed in 2011 in the context of what was known at the time as the “Arab Spring”, then in 2013, after reviving the funeral of a brother who died in one of the demonstrations by police bullets.

The Arab Organization for Human Rights, working in London, explained that the arrest operation came “three years after the incident of organizing 30 children, a protest march by bicycle in the eastern region of the Kingdom, in which they demanded the Saudi regime to respect human rights, which is the main crime for which Qurairis was arrested. He was ten years old.”

The organization considered that the accusations leveled by the Public Prosecution against Quraysis are “fabricated and not appropriate for his age at the time of his arrest, as he was charged with joining a terrorist group, committing acts of violence and riots against government installations and assaulting security personnel.”

Arab and international human rights organizations are considered to be the youngest political prisoner in the Kingdom. Amnesty International noted that no lawyer had ever visited him until his first appearance before a court specialized in terrorism four years after his imprisonment.

The Arab Organization for Human Rights in Britain called on the international community to “put pressure on the Al Saud authorities to save the life” of this 19-year-old.

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