09 June 2019 - 12:18
News ID: 445305
A
An 18-year-old boy who was arrested at age 13 for taking part in an anti-government protest in Saudi Arabia now reportedly faces the death penalty after being held for years in pre-trial detention.

RNA - CNN reported on Friday that Murtaja Qureiris, a young Saudi activist who had been active in protest movements for years before his arrest, could be put to death after being charged with firing weapons at security officers and constructing Molotov cocktails.

He has denied the accusations and reportedly stated that he was forced to give a confession under duress. Prosecutors argued in charging documents that he belonged to a "an extremist terror group".

The country's age of criminal responsibility is 12, according to CNN, and there is no age limit for the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, though the country says it does not impose capital punishment on those who committed crimes under that age.

His death, if carried out, would be the third this year in Saudi Arabia involving someone who was younger than 18 at the time of their alleged offense.

President Donald Trump held a call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in April, when the two discussed the country's human rights record following the slaying of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, US resident and critic of the Saudi government.

Several women's rights activists were released by the country last month ahead of their trials and have since claimed to have been tortured while in custody.

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