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Article

25 Jan 2023

Author:
Al Qst

Saudi Arabia: Death sentence upheld for Al Huwaitat rights defenders over peaceful opposition to NEOM mega-project on tribal land

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"Death sentences upheld for three men who resisted Neom project," 24 Jan 2023

On 23 January 2023, Saudi Arabia’s Specialised Criminal Court of Appeal upheld death sentences against three members of the Huwaitat tribe, Shadli, Ibrahim and Ataullah al-Huwaiti, in relation to their peaceful opposition to forced evictions and residents’ displacement for the state-led Neom megacity project. This ruling is subject to appeal in the Supreme Court; if the Supreme Court also upholds their sentences the three men will be at risk of imminent execution.

Shadli, Ibrahim and Ataullah were initially sentenced by Saudi Arabia’s Specialised Criminal Court (SCC), the court set up to handle terrorist cases) on 2 October 2022, having been brought to trial earlier in the year. They were tried on a number of vague charges under the Saudi Counter-Terrorism Law in relation to their peaceful actions, including activity on Twitter, in opposition to the construction of Neom on lands traditionally inhabited by their tribe...

ALQST reiterates its call for businesses involved, or thinking of becoming involved, in Neom to look closely into their corporate responsibilities and use whatever leverage they have with the Saudi authorities to end these abuses. ALQST is currently in touch with several companies that have already withdrawn or are seriously reviewing their current or future engagement with the project.

[NEOM Co. previously did not respond Business & Human Rights Resource Centre's invitation to respond to the sentencing.]