“Ali al-Nimr was a 17-year-old high school student when he was arrested for taking part in Arab Spring-inspired protests in 2012,” writes CNN.
Al-Nimr was given a death sentence in May for taking part in the demonstrations for democracy and equal rights in Saudi Arabia’s oil-producing Eastern Province, writes Reuters.
CNN states that he and others were calling for social and political reforms in the Shiite province of Qatif.
A court later convicted him of charges including “belonging to a terror cell,” attacking police with Molotov cocktails, incitement, and stoking sectarianism, according to the state media report.
A group of U.N. experts has joined rights groups in calling on Saudi Arabia to halt the execution.
Ali al-Nimr, the nephew of 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.
His final appeal was rejected when the Appeals Court and High Court ratified his verdict last week, the report said.
“France is concerned about the situation of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who was sentenced to death even though he was a minor at the time of the events,” said French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal. “Opposed to the death penalty in all cases and circumstances, we call for the execution to be called off.”