It is noteworthy that Human Rights Watch had previously emphasised that the Saudi government should issue an order to stay the executions – pending a review of all cases sentenced to death by an independent body. The review process should also include an examination of practices by the Ministries of Justice and the Interior that may involve violations of the fundamental rights of Saudi citizens and foreign death-row inmates in obtaining a fair trial.
The Saudi justice system (and the lack of civil rights for its citizens) has come under the spotlight again recently. Human Rights Watch, which investigates abuses happening all over the world, said the Saudi government should issue an order to immediately halt all executions – pending a review of all death sentence cases by an independent body. The human rights organisation also stated the review should seek an examination of practices by the Ministries of Justice and the Interior, suggesting violations have occurred and inmates unfairly trialled.
According to other human rights organisations, the judiciary system has become a clear tool of repression used to quieten critics (activists, intellectuals and others from expressing their views) of its policies.
Several independent organisations, NGOs and human rights organisations have expressed concern that the country’s judiciary suffers from an explicit bias in favour of the moods of decision-makers in the state, at the expense of the rights of political prisoners, activists and dissidents.
Standing Against Nefarious & Arbitrary Detentions (SANAD) said, “Prisoners of conscience are subjected to unfair rulings in the prisons of the state, as many of them are denied access to a lawyer, and are tried by judges who have a hand in issuing sentences that fight opponents of bin Salman’s policies.
“The death penalty is among the most significant threats to the matter of human rights in the country, as many prisoners of conscience who were executed, especially minors, such as Mustafa Al Darwish, have fallen victim to these unwarranted sentences.”