In Bildmitte mit der Nummer 3 am Leibchen: Murtaja Qureiris (Screenshot)
Vor acht Jahren fand in Saudi Arabien eine Kundgebung per Fahrrad statt, an der rund 30 Kinder teilnahmen. Daran nahm der damals zehnjährige Murtaja Qureiris teil und rief in ein Megafon: "Die Leute wollen Menschenrechte."
Als er dreizehn war, wurde er verhaftet, nun wird ihm vorgeworfen, einer "terroristischen Vereinigung" anzugehören, Molotow-Cocktails auf eine Polizeistation geworfen und auf Sicherheitskräfte geschossen zu haben, wie er mittels Folterhilfe gestanden haben soll, ihm droht die Enthauptung, die Leiche soll dann öffentlich an ein Kreuz geschlagen werden.
Murtaja Qureiris in an undated photo. Today, at age 18, he is facing the
death penalty for taking part in public protestsA Saudi teen is facing the death
penalty, after he was arrested for leading a group of children in the Arab Spring
protests when he was only 10.Three years after he took part in the 2011 protests
Murtaja Qureiris, now 18, was arrested by Saudi authorities while travelling
with his family to Bahrain.Today, a CNN investigation has revealed he is facing
the death penalty, having spent almost four years in pre-trial detention - and
at least one year and three months in solitary confinement. As well as
calling for his death the kingdom is pushing for his body to be crucified or
dismembered after his death.
Qureiris is currently on trial at a terror court, where Saudi Arabia has accused him of belonging to an extremist terrorist organisation, committing acts of violence, shooting security forces and marching at his brother's funeral. His brother, Ali Qureiris, had been killed by Saudi forces while taking part in a demonstration. Protests are punishable in Saudi Arabia, under Royal Decree 44/A, a follow-up decree to the 2014 Law for the Crimes of Terrorism and its Financing.
Crowds gathered outside the party headquarters of the Constitutional Democratic Rally in Tunisia - where the Arab Spring protests first began. Murtaja Qureiris regularly attended similar protests in Saudi Arabia when he was a young boyIn April, this year, Saudi Arabia announced it had executed 37 men who, according to rights group Reprieve, were mostly from the kingdom's Shia minority. The country has one of the highest rates of execution in the world, and has frequently been criticised by rights groups for executing people who were minors at the time of the commission of crimes.The age of criminal responsibility in Saudi Arabia is unclear, but in 2006 it told the Committee on the Rights of the Child the age had been raised to 12. The Kingdom had also previously told the United Nations it did not impose the death penalty on prisoners convicted of crimes before the criminal age of responsibility. At the time of his arrest Qureiris was 13 - the youngest known political prisoner in Saudi Arabia. But as the CNN investigation uncovered he was just 10 when he committed at least one of the alleged crimes on his charge sheet. These included him accompanying his activist brother, Ali Qureiris, on a motorcycle ride to a police station in the eastern Saudi city of Awamiya. His brother allegedly threw Molotov cocktails at the station.