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Saudi youth sentenced to prison instead of death, The Rights Group



BEIRUT, Lebanon – A Saudi teenager facing a possible execution of actions he was accused of committing as a child has been handed over to a 12-year prison sentence, a human rights group that has overseen his case , said Sunday. 19659002] Last year, the Saudi prosecution sought a death sentence for Murtaja Qureiris, now 18, but the threat of enforcement was first published last week and made international condemnation. The charges filed against the teenager in connection with his participation in anti-allegation protests, some that took place when he was as young as 10. The prosecutors included possession of a firearm and joined a terrorist organization.

He was arrested at. 13 and has been held in prison since.

The judge who oversees his case has delivered the verdict on Thursday, according to the rights of the European Saudi human rights organization, which has tracked the case for years.

According to the judge, the teenager's lawyer said that instead of the death penalty, he would receive a 12-year sentence that would include the four years he has already earned and four years of probation after his release, meaning he would earn three years in prison. [19659006] It is unclear what led to the decision, but rights groups allowed it international pressure on his case.

"This is a political decision after international media have spoken on this matter," said Ali Adubisi, director of the European Saudi Human Rights Organization.

But Mr Adubisi said another hearing was set this week where prosecutors had to argue for a harder punishment and the defense lawyer for a lighter one.

CNN first reported the change in Mr. Qureiris sentence on Sunday.

Redundancies are common in Saudi Arabia, which have been accused of targeting the perceived political opponents and members of Shi'ite peoples by the courts. Nevertheless, it is unusual for the authorities to practice any accused of acts committed at such a young age.

Saudi Arabia has defended its use of the death penalty. The predominantly Sunni kingdom has killed 37 men this year, most of them shiites, for "terrorist" activity, and causing "sectarian discord", reported the official Saudi news agency.


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