A young protester who was reportedly forced to admit to crimes after being tortured when he was a teenager could be beheaded in the coming days.
Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2012, along with two others who were also minors at the time, following anti-government protests in 2011.
In 2013, aged just 17, he was sentenced to death by beheading and crucifixion.
He is the nephew of the outspoken Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who was executed on 2 January without warning, along with 46 other prisoners.
His mother, Umm Bakr, told The Times she fears her son was used “as a card against his uncle”, and says after he was arrested he was tortured into signing confessions for a number of false charges including carrying a weapon.
Mohammed al-Nimr, his father and the brother of Sheikh Nimr, believes his son was “just like any other youth,” he said: “When the movement started, he joined, believing he would take on the burden for the people.”
However, he claims police knocked Mr al-Nimr off his motorcycle and arrested him, informing his family he would only be released if “his uncle stops talking”.
The mass execution sparked widespread protests around the world and lead to a sharp decline in relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Following the mass killing of 46 prisoners earlier this year, the largest mass execution in Saudi Arabia since 1980, the British government maintains it doesn’t expect the Mr al-Nimr’s sentence to go ahead.
But his father doubts he will be released: “Perhaps before 2 January, I might have believed that. Now unless I see him back home again, none of these assurances can give me any comfort."
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