‘HE’S A THREAT’
Salman al-Odah is an internationally renowned Muslim scholar known for his progressive views on homosexuality and Sharia law.
He was arrested shortly after he tweeted a prayer, hoping for Saudi Arabia and Qatar to reconcile their differences, The Sun reports.
He tweeted: “May God harmonise between their hearts for the good of their people.”
The following year, he was lumped with 37 terrorism charges, which included an alleged affiliation to “terrorist organisations”.
Saudi prosecutors named the Muslim Brotherhood and the European Council for Fatwa and Research as the most prominent.
At the time, the late Jamal Kashoggi, claimed “Odah will be executed not because he is an extremist.
“It’s because he is a moderate. That is why they consider him a threat.”
Awad Al Qarni. Picture: Facebook
Awad Al Qarni. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied
FAMOUS SAUDI FIGURES
He was also accused of “exposing injustices towards prisoners” and having an affiliation with the Qatari royal family.
Al-Qarni, a Muslim preacher, academic and author and al-Omari also have a huge online presence, with thousands of followers on Twitter.
Al-Omari, a famous Saudi figure is known for his TV shows that often back more rights for women, and campaigns against extremism.
Alongside the alleged terror accusations, he was charged with “forming a youth organisation to carry out the objectives of a terrorist group inside the Kingdom”.
EXECUTION TRIAL RUN
Another government source claimed the execution of 37 Saudi’s last month was used as a “trial balloon” to determine strong how international backlash would be.
The source told the newspaper: “When they found out there was very little international reaction, particularly at the level of governments and heads of state, they decided to proceed with their plan to execute figures who were prominent.”
But Yahhhya Assiri, founder the London-based Saudi human rights organisation ALQST denied reports of the executions.
He tweeted: “Nothing is beyond the authorities who are oppressive, brutal and ignorant, but also no one has been convicted or executed.
“This news is harmful to the victim and the human rights situation and our work.”
Last month, the Saudi government slaughtered 37 people in one bloody day, which means the state is now tipped to kill a record number of its citizens in 2019.
Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s highest rates of execution: suspects convicted of terrorism, homicide, rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking face the death penalty.
It has carried out nearly 600 executions since the start of 2014, more than a third of them in drug cases.
More than 140 people were put to death in the kingdom last year, where convicts are usually beheaded using a huge curved sword.
Public beheadings will typically take place around 9am when the convicted person is walked into a square and made to kneel in front of the executioner.
This story was originally published in The Sun and is reprinted with permission.