Saudi Arabia: Capital Punishment

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 6th July 2021.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Labour, Leeds Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether following the execution in Saudi Arabia of Mustafa Hashem al-Darwish who was sentenced to death for protest-related crimes committed as a child, he will make representations to the Saudi authorities on behalf of nine other young men facing execution for childhood crimes, including Abdullah al-Howaiti.

Photo of James Cleverly James Cleverly Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The United Kingdom strongly opposes the death penalty in all countries and in all circumstances, as a matter of principle. The Saudi authorities are aware of the UK Government's strong position on such cases. We reiterated our opposition to the death penalty in Saudi Arabia in a joint statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 15 September 2020. On 24 May 2021, during my [Mr Cleverly] visit to Saudi Arabia, I discussed the death penalty, including those charged with conducting crimes as minors, with the President of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, Dr Awwad Alawwad. Our Embassy in Riyadh has raised our concern over the cases of Mustafa al Darwish and Abdullah al Howaiti.

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