When you talk about archaic criminal punishments, sentencing someone to death by crucifixion has to be up there.
Fucking crucifixion. In 2015. Never mind that executing people is still a thing, executing them by nailing them to a cross and leaving them to die is still a thing.
But unfortunately, this biblical punishment is the hellish reality being faced by a Saudi Arabian teenager.
Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was 17 when he was arrested back in 2012, on charges of illegal protesting and gun possession, which activists claim are politically motivated.
The charges are extremely shaky at best. The fact there has never been any evidence to support the gun charges is just one example of how corrupt the whole thing is.
After his arrest, al-Nimr was held in jail and denied access to a lawyer, Mic reports. According to British legal aid group Reprieve he was then subjected to torture, eventually giving the authorities a forced confession.
Maya Foa, director of Reprieve, said in a statement:
No one should have to go through the ordeal Ali has suffered — torture, forced ‘confession’ and an unfair, secret trial process, resulting in a sentence of death by ‘crucifixion’.
Ali was a vulnerable child when he was arrested and this ordeal began. His execution — based apparently on the authorities’ dislike for his uncle, and his involvement in anti-government protests — would violate international law and the most basic standards of decency. It must be stopped.
He was reportedly targeted because of his uncle, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, an outspoken critic of the Saudi regime who is scheduled to be executed on Thursday.
Saudi Arabia has long been criticised for its excessive use of capital punishment, and while most countries have stepped away from killing criminals, under their new king Salman, executions in the country have actually gone up.
People have taken to Twitter to show their support for al-Nimr:
#FreeNimr and all those who have been wrongfully imprisoned by the tyrannical Saudi regime for speaking out against their brutalities.
— Anam (@AnamR_Syed) September 14, 2015
— Project Zainab (@Projectzainab) September 11, 2015
— Hussain Mehdi (@Mehdi4Justice) September 14, 2015
— Shia News (@shianews313) September 14, 2015
— Hamosh (@Hamosh84) September 14, 2015
Hopefully something is done to help him, although with Saudi Arabia’s dire human rights record, I’m not holding my breath.