In Saudi Arabia, 16 people “who are merely protesting for more democracy … are set to die, including several children,” public advocate Clive Stafford Smith told “Democracy Now!” in this report:

A young Saudi protester is set to be beheaded and crucified for his role in 2012 pro-democracy protests. Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was arrested at the age of 17 and convicted of encouraging protests during the Arab Spring. He faces execution any day. Earlier this month, in response to mounting international pressure to release al-Nimr, the Saudi Embassy in London said, “the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rejects any form of interference in its internal affairs and any impingement on its sovereignty or the independence and impartiality of its judiciary.” We are joined by Clive Stafford Smith of the international legal charity Reprieve, which has just released a report on executions in Saudi Arabia.

Smith continues:

You know, we’ve come 2,000 years, and the big improvement the Saudis have made on crucifixion is they chop your head off first and then hang you upside down on your cross for three days pour encourager les autres, you know, to encourage other people not to do things. And so, we’re trying to tell the world more about it, because it’s such a closed society. A hundred seventy-one people are set to be executed, almost three-quarters of those for nonviolent offenses. Sixteen of them are Shia people, who, as with Sheikh al-Nimr, are protesting a lack of democracy. You know, these are not extremist people, they’re people who are merely protesting for more democracy. Sixteen of them are set to die, including several children. Ali is one.

— Adapted from “Democracy Now!” by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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