Elizabeth May calls on Canada to demand the release of Arab Spring protesters threatened with imminent beheading

Elizabeth May is calling on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to take immediate action to prevent the beheading of three men allegedly involved in the 2011 Arab Spring protests.

“Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon and Abdullah al-Zaher should be immediately released and provided with both a pardon and medical treatment,” Ms May said. “Canada’s complicity in the continued flagrant abuse of human rights in Saudi Arabia is shameful, particularly while we continue to provide lucrative arms sales to the Saudi kingdom.”

At the time of their arrests, these three men were between the ages of 15 and 17, and allegedly participated in peaceful, pro-democracy protests as part of the Arab Spring. They were tortured to obtain confessions and then convicted under secret trials.

Amnesty International remains extremely concerned about the impending executions. On Feb. 6, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) released Opinion No. 61/2016 that determined that Saudi Arabia’s ongoing treatment constitutes arbitrary detention and violates a number of international legal principles.

“Greens have consistently opposed the Liberals’ upholding of a $15-billion armoured vehicles contract with the Saudis, one that flies in the face of our claims of safeguards to protect human rights before selling military hardware.,” Ms. May said.