U.N., rights groups call on Saudi Arabia to spare man from beheading, crucifixion

Sep 23, 2015

By Schams Elwazer

A group of U.N. experts has joined rights groups in calling on Saudi Arabia to halt the execution of a Shiite man convicted of crimes reportedly committed as a teenager during protests inspired by the Arab Spring.

Ali al-Nimr, the nephew of firebrand Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, faces execution by beheading and an additional rare punishment of “crucifixion,” which means publicly displaying the body after death as a warning to others, according to Saudi state media.

“Any judgment imposing the death penalty upon persons who were children at the time of the offense, and their execution, are incompatible with Saudi Arabia’s international obligations,” the U.N. group said in a statement Tuesday, invoking the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Saudi Arabia is a party.

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49 comments on “U.N., rights groups call on Saudi Arabia to spare man from beheading, crucifixion

  • “Al-Nimr’s mother, the source said, is “always praying”. ”

    To which god? Surely not the same god as that of the Saudi authorities.
    Otherwise it becomes a competition in praying.

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  • In addition to everything else that’s been said I will add one rather banal yet honest comment, and ask a question that I believe is unanswerable:
    It’s just so goddamned sad.—A story like this is hard to bear.
    Such cruelty in this world. When will human atrociousness end?

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  • 12
    voiceofarabi says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen……..

    Welcome to the True ISIS…..

    I have been saying that Saudi is the creator of Al Qa’ada, ISIS and anything evil over the last 50 years (with the assistance of USA CIA & Pakistan ISI – Check google if in doubt) and I would get shot down…..

    If you spoke Arabic, you could check their official statements, and you would know that they support ISIS… If you are in Banking, you know they support ISIS… if you are an Arms dealer, you would know that they support ISIS…

    Now, through this, there is no reason for the average Joe Blog not to know that they are actually ISIS…

    The UN and the rest of the world should embargo everything to do with Saudi. (not Cuba or Venezuela..)

    and this just in… (150 pilgrims just got killed because the Saudi’s can not organize for pilgrims to move form one side to the other without walking over each other…. )

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  • voiceofarabi
    Sep 24, 2015 at 4:52 am

    and this just in… (150 pilgrims just got killed because the Saudi’s can not organize for pilgrims to move form one side to the other without walking over each other…. )

    Apparently it was worse than that! A “possessed” crowd were in a charge to stone the Devil!


    At least 310 people taking part in the Hajj pilgrimage have been killed in a stampede near the Islamic holy city of Mecca, officials in Saudi Arabia say.

    Another 450 people were injured in the incident at Mina, which occurred as two million pilgrims were taking part in the Hajj’s last major rite.

    .They converge on Mina to throw stones at pillars representing the devil.

    Preparations for the Hajj were marred when a crane collapsed at Mecca’s Grand Mosque this month, killing 109 people.

    Since 364 people were killed during the stoning ritual in 2006, the Saudi authorities have worked on improving transport and other infrastructure in the area in an attempt try to prevent such incidents.

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  • They have a lethal stampede every year, so it must be the will of Allah.

    Only the other day one Omar Hussain malcontent muslim from UK who didn’t like western ways and now ‘fighting’ with IS complained about Arab IS fighters acting like Arabs pushing and shoving and allegedly using his phone charger without permission. Outrageous!

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  • On the BBC the death toll is apparently now over 700. Apparently Allah and Mo aren’t too bothered about their supplicants worshipping them or at least decline to provide any divine protection. Probably because neither exist.

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  • 19
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    They have a lethal stampede every year, so it must be the will of Allah.

    Interesting observation Vorlund. You are right: according to Islamic faith, everything that happens is the will of Allah. The Islamic clergy also compels the Umma to do the Mecca pilgrimage at least once in their life if they can.

    So we are forced to conclude that God has no problem with the pre-ordained death of hundreds of his most faithful followers every year. Consequently, there is no reason to believe he would have any qualms about the death and suffering of less-than-devout followers, heretics and unbelievers.

    Therefore, how is it possible to avoid reaching conclusion that Islam’s God (just like the Judeo-Christian God), is anything other than a sadistic, tyrannical and uncaring psychopath?

    What does that say about us humans and human nature when you have billions of people on this planet who are perfectly willing to worship and blindly obey the purported central figure of this morally repugnant, masochistic, self-negating death cult?

    Worse yet, many of them are enthusiatically willing to discriminate against or even kill, maime, imprison and torture anybody who speaks out against this insane tyranny. From where I stand, Abrahamic Gods bear a strange resemblance to George Orwell’s Big Brother.

    We humans are so good at inventing chains. And the most efficient chains are the chains of the mind. They are the hardest to break. In the course of history, we have used religions to enslave ourselves and it has worked exceptionally well. I hope we can find a way out of this hole we’ve dug ourselves into…

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  • This is different from usual. The crime was not religious, but violent protests.

    I debated these extreme punishments once with a Muslim. He defended them saying that they had to use them quite rarely since the population was law abiding as a result. I am not sure that applies today.

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  • 21
    ejcroxall says:

    Saudi ‘ s are monsters. They shouldn’t be allowed any where near the UNITED Human rights Council! DO NOT KILL THAT YOUNG MAN tomorrow in the name of humanity!!! HAVE MERCY!!!!

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  • Roedy
    Sep 24, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    I debated these extreme punishments once with a Muslim. He defended them saying that they had to use them quite rarely since the population was law abiding as a result.

    Perhaps he was vague about to which (Sharia) law they were abiding!

    Wahhabi Islam puts pandering to their god-delusions, way above any consideration of interests of human beings. (As is illustrated by the regular deaths from ritual stampedes!)
    They seem to out-perform the Xtian pilgrimage industry holy relic charlatans by several orders of magnitude – and have plans for even bigger future crowds and stampedes!

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  • Stafford Gordon
    Sep 25, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Apparently the Saudi Prince in charge of this benighted country is a 28 year old globe trotting playboy.

    The chances are that he wasn’t among the pilgrims then.

    According to the news, he was busy elsewhere!

    Saudi prince arrested at LA mansion for alleged sex crime

    A Saudi Arabian prince has been arrested in Los Angeles for allegedly forcing a worker at a Beverly Hills mansion to perform a sex act on him.

    Los Angeles police said Majed Abdulaziz al-Saud, 28, was arrested on Wednesday and released the following day after posting a $300,000 (£197,000) bond .

    He is scheduled to appear in court on October 19 to face a charge of “forced oral copulation”.

    Al-Saud does not have diplomatic immunity, police said.

    The Los Angeles Times reported a neighbour had spotted a bloodied woman calling for help and trying to climb over a wall surrounding the $37m (£24.3m) estate.

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  • Let me play devil’s advocate. Let’s assume the young man is guilty as charged. He threw Molotov cocktails at people. That is attempted murder. I have often argued that the punishment for murder and attempted murder should be the same. For example if A shoots B. Whether B survives or dies usually has little to do with A. It has to do with the speed of the emergency team and the skill of the surgeon. The punishment should not depend on whether B survives, only on A’s actions.

    In Texas, Rick Perry , IIRC has executed 179 people for murder. So American are reasonably comfortable with the death penalty for murder. So they should not be upset the Saudis are executing the young man. Beheading is quick and more ghastly for the audience than the prisoner. “Crucifixion” is painless. It is just superstition.

    Until the US stops executing people in such vast numbers, they don’t have much of leg to stand on to criticise the Saudis.

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  • Muslims, in general, don’t like ‘insurance’, believing it against ‘god’s will’.

    The cost of protection against uninsured drivers has increased in the UK in recent years and is a premium in some areas of cities/towns. NB Car insurance is a legal requirement in the UK.

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  • Meanwhile, different legal processes are slowly catching up with faith-delusion-crime!


    A suspected Islamist charged with the war crime of destroying religious monuments in Timbuktu in Mali has arrived at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for trial.

    The ICC said Ahmad al-Mahdi al-Faqi, also known as Abu Tourab, had been surrendered to the court by Niger.

    He is charged with the destruction of nine mausoleums and a mosque in the historic African city in 2012.

    In a statement on Saturday, the ICC said it was the first case to be brought before the court “concerning the destruction of buildings dedicated to religion and historical monuments”.

    .During their occupation, the militants vandalised and destroyed mosques and mausoleums, and burnt tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts.

    The city – which is listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco – was considered the centre of Islamic learning from the 13th to the 17th Centuries.

    The mausoleums were shrines to Timbuktu’s founding fathers, who had been venerated as saints by most of the city’s inhabitants.

    But this practice is considered blasphemous by fundamentalists.

    Historical pearls cast before by real swine!!!!

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  • Olgun
    Sep 24, 2015 at 9:25 am

    The insurance companies will see it as an act of god!!

    The Saudi Grand Mufti takes a similar view, apparently having in left the planning to Allah and individual pilgrim’s god-delusions!


    Saudi Arabia’s most senior cleric, the grand mufti, has said Thursday’s stampede that killed more than 700 people at the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca was beyond human control.

    He told the interior minister, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, that he was not to blame for the tragedy.

    Iran and several other countries have criticised Saudi authorities for the way they handled safety issues.

    King Salman has ordered a safety review.

    As criticism of the Saudis intensifies, so has the Saudi response. The intervention of the country’s top religious leader is no surprise. Nor is the grand mufti’s assertion that fate and destiny are inevitable.

    Such fatalism has resonance in the Islamic world, but it won’t still a growing clamour of criticism.

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  • Think you already made reference to it but there is surely an opening here for “The man who sued god II”.


    The man who sued allah (Saudi drift)

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  • Until the US stops executing people in such vast numbers, they don’t have much of leg to stand on to criticise the Saudis.

    Sadly so… And they undercut the rest of us when we complain, tarred as we are with the same brush as being “Them” to the Saudi “Us”.

    The religious when stirred to judgement can’t help but act in loco Deo. US Americans, too often thus, are insanely and brutally punitive as a culture consistent with their general disinterest in building compassionate societies and need to focus on their personal comfort and salvation.

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  • This is what happens when imperialism and religion mix.

    Saudi Arabia, like the other Gulf monarchies, Israel, and to a somewhat lesser extent Turkey, are mercenary states of Washington. They were armed, trained and backed during the Cold War to fight secular Arab nationalism and socialism and to maintain the flow of oil from the region. Imperialism, by its very nature (i.e. not being in the interests of the masses of people in the countries that it targets, even when it professes “human rights”, “freedom” and “women’s liberation” as its motivations) requires opportunist, retrograde, criminal scum to do its bidding, since these are the only people willing to actively serve foreign masters against the fundamental interests of their own people. It’s no coincidence that the corrupt, vicious and hated Maliki regime in Iraq proved less than worthless against ISIS. Now Saudi Arabia is being charged with “leading” the fight against ISIS. The US backed thousands of jihadis in Syria to topple Assad’s regime, and even gave permission to its Gulf allies to do the same. The US actively sought to exploit sectarian divisions to its advantage, just as it did in Iraq (the CIA had warned that the occupation and its puppet regime were facing a unified resistance that cut across sects and ideologies. The US responded by sending death squad specialist Col. James Steele, of El Salvador fame, to Iraq to help its government organize “special police commandos” (terrorist death squads), unleashing a wave of horror against the Sunni population, a major reason that many Iraqis may well see ISIS as a lesser evil).

    Thanks, Bush! You too, Obama. Top job.

    No, the problem isn’t that “these people have been killing each other for thousands of years”, the common refrain from people who want to blame everything other than imperialism. The problem is that imperialism actively and opportunistically promotes the forces that are most expedient to it, leading to a race to the bottom to among these terrorist elements to become its favorites. And when they’re discarded, they need to be stomped on with further military intervention. The population bears the brunt and is denied what the imperialists promised in the first place: human rights, freedom, dignity and peace.

    Imperialism can’t seem to do ANYTHING right (other than commit genocide, radicalize people through anguish and humiliation, and funnel money to arms manufacturers), not even from the point of view of its own narrow interests! By the way, when I say “imperialism”, I certainly mean to include the attitudes and narratives among everyday people in the imperialist centers that facilitate what can only be described as genocide by blaming the victims and calling for more “humanitarian war”.

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  • Sam
    Sep 29, 2015 at 5:23 am

    Thanks, Bush! You too, Obama. Top job.

    Imperialism can’t seem to do ANYTHING right (other than commit genocide, radicalize people through anguish and humiliation, and funnel money to arms manufacturers), not even from the point of view of its own narrow interests!

    The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could reach as high as $6 trillion dollars – or $75,000 for every household in America – a new study from Harvard University has found.

    But hey! The US cannot afford health-care for its poor, or investment in green technologies!

    BTW: They are also continuing to pay interest on the money they borrowed to finance these wars! – But that’s OK – those mug- taxpayers will cover the liabilities of national debt and keep electing war-mongers who feed the arms industries.

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  • 40
    voiceofarabi says:

    Hi Sam,

    Excellent analysis, and from someone on the receiving end of these policies.. I lived them daily, and can tell you, that you are correct..

    The big question is how to resolve this…

    I mean… the average British person is not bad or “imperialist”, yet Great Britain raped the world for the last few hundred years (and they still do…)

    Also, the average American is not bad or “imperialist” (mostly poorly educated, but good in nature), yet America currently is the worst country in the world in my view. I mean, Saddam Hussain may have killed his own people, and invaded others, but the USA has done this across the world with impunity… they are both bad, but the US of A is SuperBAD.

    Does that mean there is NO democracy in Great Britain and the United States of America??

    What is the way out??

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  • 42
    voiceofarabi says:

    There needs to be political way for the public to care enough to stop the oily scum rising to the top!

    Hi Alan4Discussion…

    I see, so the current democracy the west have in place is not working (or not a democracy at least), which needs someone to come up with a new model….

    The problem is… When someone good does come up to the surface, the rest of the bullies will try to smear him/her, or oust him or last result, assassinate him/her.

    Let us see… Putin is a thug, but he speak some sense at least, and look how evil they made him to be…

    Castro is a darling, and the average American can’t say his name without spitting 🙂 (they tried everything with him, but he still lives… he is my hero…. (and yes, I have travelled to cuba, and it is very poor, but it is poor because USA wanted it to be poor.)

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  • Arkrid Sandwich
    Sep 24, 2015 at 8:57 am

    On the BBC the death toll is apparently now over 700.
    according to the news the death toll of Iranians alone is 464. No wonder they are critical of the saudi’s attempts at organisation!

    Iran says number of its citizens who died in the Hajj stampeded in Saudi Arabia last week has reached 464 – nearly double the previous toll.

    Iranian authorities said there was no longer hope of finding any of the country’s missing pilgrims alive.

    According to Saudi officials, 769 people died in the crush in Mina, near Mecca, and 934 were injured.

    The Saudis have been criticised over their handling of security and for the slow publication of casualty figures.

    Iranian officials allege that the overall number of deaths is now more than 1,000. Pakistan, India, and Indonesia have also suggested death toll may be higher than the 769 reported by Saudi Arabia.

    Deaths reported so far by nationality

    Iran: 464 dead
    Egypt: 75 dead, 94 missing
    Nigeria: 64 dead, 244 missing
    Indonesia: 57 dead, 78 missing
    Mali: 60 dead
    India: 45 dead
    Pakistan: 40 dead, more than 60 missing
    Niger: 22 dead
    Cameroon: at least 20 dead
    Ivory Coast: 14 dead, 77 missing
    Chad: 11 dead
    Algeria: 11 dead
    Somalia: 8 dead (media reports)
    Senegal: 10 dead
    Morocco: 10 dead, 29 missing
    Libya: 4 dead, 16 missing
    Tanzania: 4 dead
    Kenya: 3 dead
    Tunisia: 2 dead
    Burkina Faso: 1 dead
    Burundi: 1 dead
    Netherlands: 1 dead
    Other nationalities (numbers not yet known): Benin

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  • I beg to differ that the average American is not imperialistic. Even in the liberal discourse, imperialist assumptions permeate and often predominate. More conservative Americans often espouse disappointment with Obama, who is in some ways more warlike than Bush Jnr, for not bombing more brown people. Even the “socialist” Bernie Sanders, who is looked to among many on the American Left as a great hope, is firmly in the imperialist camp, recently chiding Saudi Arabia to “get its hands dirty” fighting ISIS (which it helped create), as though the vicious bombing of Yemen isn’t dirty enough. Why haven’t more average Americans called him out on this? It’s easy to sell imperialism and national chauvinism to Americans, so long as it’s not called imperialism and national chauvinism.

    Having said all that, I don’t actually blame average Americans for being imperialistic. They’ve been raised since birth to hold a bunch of screwed up notions, to view the Third World with disdain, to worship the military, to repeat a bunch of mantras and sound-bites that instantly switch off critical thought (“support the troops”, “Israel has a right to defend itself”, “So you want Saddam to stay in power?”). And they don’t often consciously grasp that they’re saying things that are imperialistic. Obviously, they don’t like US interventions just for the sake of violence. They, more often than not, believe the pretexts (and to their credit, they also stop believing them after a while, at least sometimes). Its also true that they’re not as imperialistic as they once were. There are now more avenues for resistance and for anti-imperialist voices to be heard and even taken seriously. But it’s a powerful culture and it’s difficult to get away from it.

    I don’t know what the answer is. I sense that it will require something much more profound than participation in the capitalist-dominated circus of “democratic electoral politics” (where you get to chose who’s going to manage the country on behalf of capitalist interests) where everyone is encouraged to be dumber than frog spawn. On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be anything like a strong, coherent, Left worthy of the name. I suppose we’ll just have to keep chipping away, working towards something in the future.

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  • 45
    voiceofarabi says:

    Hi Sam,

    Again, I am very impressed by your analysis… and I agree with you generally. and some of the “Average” American I have meet may have been telling me what I want to hear. But I know for sure that they are Genuinely good and honest people.

    Maybe if I share my story with you this will help us understand the real problem.

    I was “western educated”, and believed in the “TOP GUN-the movie” story blindly. I always thought IRAN, CHINA, RUSSIA, VIETNAM, etc to be evil.

    Then I visited Iran for the first time, and met their people.. That chipped away on my believe.

    Then I visited Russia, and drank vodka with Russian people.. Again that changed my view somehow, but not by a lot.

    Then I visited China (the country that is in the cross hair of American guns right now), and my views changed completely… I discovered that everything I hear in BBC, FOX New, CNN, SKY News, etc etc.. is one sided spun stories… they are not blatant lies, but very close..

    Then, I visited Vietnam, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, etc… and the rest is history..

    I know still watch BBC, FOX, CNN, SKY, but I also watch RUSSIA TODAY, PRESS TV, AL MAYADEEN TV, ….

    So the problem with the west seems to be the “PRESS”…… It is no longer “FREE PRESS”..

    Hold on… That’s is exactly the same reason why Mr. AlNIMR is being executed in Saudi.. He spoke freely….

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  • What with the state of LGB rights and employment rights in Saudi Arabia, it is sick comedy to make that country a venue for a UN Human Rights Conference!

    India woman’s arm ‘cut off by employer’ in Saudi Arabia

    India’s foreign ministry has complained to the Saudi Arabian authorities following an alleged “brutal” attack on a 58-year-old Indian woman in Riyadh.

    Kasturi Munirathinam’s right arm was chopped off, allegedly by her employer, when she tried to escape from their house last week, reports say.

    Ms Munirathinam was working as a domestic help. She is recovering in hospital.

    Her family has alleged that she was being tortured by her Saudi employers.

    Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj wrote on Twitter: “This is unacceptable. We have taken this up with Saudi authorities. Our embassy is in touch with the victim.”

    “Chopping of hand of Indian lady – We are very much disturbed over the brutal manner in which Indian lady has been treated in Saudi Arabia,” Ms Swaraj added.

    The family of Ms Munirathinam in the southern Indian city of Chennai said that her employers had been “angered” after she complained about the “harassment” she was facing at her employer’s home, where she had begun working three months ago.

    They are asking the government to secure them compensation from the family, and also help pay Ms Munirathinam’s medical expenses.

    “Ever since she went to work with this family in July, things were not alright. My mother was not even allowed to speak to us over the phone, she was not given proper food and was forced to work long hours,” her son S Kumar told BBC Hindi.

    “When she tried to escape the harassment and torture, her right arm was chopped off by the woman employer. Now my sister can’t even sit and do simple things on her own, as her spinal cord has also been injured,” her sister S Vijayakumari added.

    The poor treatment and abuse of maids in the Middle East is a familiar tale. Benjamin Dix and Lindsay Pollock tell the disturbing story of a young Ethiopian woman who took a job as a domestic help in Saudi Arabia but was treated like a slave.

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  • 47
    voiceofarabi says:

    Hi Alan4Discussion,

    Needless to say, I support your views a 100%, and I would like to add one more piece of information as I know the Saudi Government and People first hand. this may be old news to you, but I think some readers will find it amazing.

    Now.. Imagine the Bell Curve…. 10% outliers on each side and 80% is the bulk in the middle.

    If you to view the Saudi Population today using the Bell Curve.. you will see the following:

    10% of the population, normal to decent, morally correct people….
    The 10% on the other side are complete 100% ISIS
    80% of the population are already at 80% of ISIS mentality (that’s not because the people are bad.. it is because the government are conditioning their people into this mentality with the help of the Wahhabi clerics.

    now, for people who really don’t understand who ISIS are… I have a simple example that may help….

    Do you all remember BlackWater – The arms for hire used in by USA for their “Black” operations…

    Well.. ISIS is the Saudi version of “Blackwater”. i.e. it is guns for hire… they used them under another name in Afghanistan (then it was Mujaheedeen),

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  • voiceofarabi
    Oct 9, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Hi Alan4Discussion,

    BTW:- I don’t know how far you or others are aware of it, but your avatar name could be read two ways! – With some confusion??


    voice-of-a-rabi (rabbi)

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  • 49
    voiceofarabi says:


    I did not know, and I really like it more now….

    I guess I prefer VoiceOfArabi, as that’s what it is…

    Plus, I can’t be a Rabbi….. I am unable to hold/build arguments as well as they do.. 🙂

    p.s. It just dawned on me that I could have been both… There are many Arab Jews out there… LOL

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