WMU applicant set to be beheaded

Evrard Martin
Juillet 17, 2017

Officials in MI and a human rights group expressed worry Sunday for a Saudi Arabian national who they say had been looking into colleges in MI and OR but now is facing execution by beheading for expressing dissenting views in his country.

Reprieve and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the AFT Michigan chapter are calling on the USA and other governments to intervene with the hopes of preventing the beheadings.

"Since we saw last week 14 executions carried out - which was an uptick in executions in Saudi Arabia - we now have serious concerns that the move of [al-Sweikat] and the 13 others was in anticipation of potentially imminent beheading", said Maya Foa, director of Reprieve.

Mujtaba'a was accused of attending protests that began in February 2011 and continued through 2012.

Since his arrest Mujtaba'a was held in detention in Dammam. "Mujtaba was a promising 17-year-old boy on his way to study in MI when he was arrested, beaten, and later sentenced to death on the basis of a "confession" extracted through torture".

They were convicted and sentenced to death by Saudi Arabia's controversial Specialised Criminal Court, which, although established to hear terrorism cases, has been used by authorities to silent dissent through the use of the death penalty, Reprieve said.

"Saudi Arabia's threat to behead its own citizens for attending an anti-government protest is an unthinkable and despicable violation of worldwide law and basic humanity", AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a statement.

"People must have a right to speak and associate freely".

In the same statement AFT national President Randi Weingarten said Saudi Arabia "should be considered a pariah nation by the world", if the executions take place. "We implore President Trump, as the standard-bearer for our great nation, to do everything in his power to stop the atrocities that may otherwise take place in Saudi Arabia".

It was originally believed he meant to study at the University of MI, but no record of his enrollment was found. Documents obtained by the AFT confirm his acceptance was to WMU.

AFT Michigan President David Hecker said: "President Trump displayed a close relationship with Saudi leaders during his recent trip to the kingdom. I urge him to use that relationship to plead with the new Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to halt the executions", he said in the statement.

A Saudi national, who was on his way to visit the United States for college, is reportedly going to be beheaded in his home country for attending a pro-democracy rally. What is our obligation in terms of intervention? Foa says the global human rights group has contacts inside and outside of Saudi Arabia that informed Reprieve about the recent transport of the prisoners. Does anyone think Trump really cares?

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