Target: Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, King and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia
Goal: Stop the execution of a man held on drug charges and demand a retrial in accordance with international fair trial standards
Hajras bin Saleh bin Muhammad al-Qurey, who was scheduled to be executed August 25, 2014, has been granted an unexplained reprieve, but he could still be executed at any time. His detention and trial have been marred by a slew of human rights violations, including torture, and his sentence is incredibly harsh given the crime of which he has been accused. Sign the petition and demand that Hajras al-Qurey be granted a retrial in accordance with international fair trial standards and human rights regulations.
Hajras al-Qurey and his son Mohammad al-Query were detained in early 2012 for suspected drug possession as they crossed the border from Saudi Arabia into Yemen. After an interrogation that allegedly included torture, Mohammad al-Qurey “confessed” to smuggling drugs but insisted that his father had no knowledge of it. Mohammad al-Qurey was sentenced to twenty years in prison; his father was sentenced to death. Neither man was allowed access to a lawyer during either their interrogation or trial, Amnesty International reports. Capital punishment in Saudi Arabia is usually carried out through public beheading.
Hajras al-Qurey’s alleged crime was not a violent one; moreover, it is likely that he was not intentionally committing a crime at all. His being sentenced to death is a gross miscarriage of justice, and it cannot be allowed to go unchallenged. Sign the petition and demand that Hajras al-Qurey’s execution be stopped and that he and his son be granted a new trial that conforms to international fair trial and human rights standards. Demand that their allegations of torture be addressed and those responsible brought to justice, and urge Saudi Arabia to end the death penalty once and for all.
The impending execution of Hajras bin Saleh bin Muhammad al-Qurey constitutes a gross miscarriage of justice and will cast shame upon the legal system of Saudi Arabia. I therefore demand that Hajras al-Qurey’s execution be cancelled immediately, and that he and his son, Mohammad al-Qurey, be granted a new trial that meets international fair trial and human rights standards.
Hajras al-Qurey and his son were arrested in January 2012 on suspicion of possessing drugs as they attempted to cross the border into Yemen. They were interrogated–and, they claim, tortured–until Mohammad al-Qurey confessed to smuggling drugs. He insisted that his father had no knowledge of the crime, and yet Hajras al-Qurey was condemned to death while his son was sentenced to twenty years in prison.
“Confessions” extracted through torture are inadmissible in court under international human rights standards. The fact that neither man was given access to legal representation throughout both the interrogation process and the trial itself constitutes a further violation of their human rights. Their sentences should therefore be deemed invalid, and a new trial conducted to determine their fates. It is also imperative that the men’s allegations of torture by fully investigated and those responsible brought to justice.
You still have the chance to make this right, even as a man’s life hangs in the balance. Do the morally, legally, and ethically correct thing: halt Hajras al-Qurey’s execution, grant him and Mohammad al-Qurey a new, fair trial, and investigate their allegations of torture immediately.
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Photo credit: Aliven Sarkar via Wikimedia Commons