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Initial legal observations which have concluded that the indictment against female Human rights defender Israa Al-Ghomgham and five other individuals is a violation of international human right law, has been recently released by international human rights lawyer Oliver Windridge in a short memo.
After a legal analysis, Windridge found several areas of immediate concern in the indictment, namely: A reliance on confessions as evidence, the non-serious nature of the ‘crimes’ which do not meet the criteria of crimes for which the death penalty can be applied, and a violation of the accused right to freedom of expression and protest, as the majority of the charges are related to protest activity.
The indictment contains charges against six Saudi human rights defenders who are being trialled en masse; Israa Bint Hassan Bin Abdallah al-Ghomgham, Ahmed Bin Hussein Bin Abdallah Al Matroud, Ali Bin Ahmed Bin Abdallah Uwayshir, Moussa Bin Jaafar Bin Amin al-Hashim, Khalid Bin Abdallah Bin Saud al-Ghanim and Mujtaba Bin Ali Bin Mohammed al-Mozain. Windridge concludes his initial observations of the indictment by stating that:
“The call by Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecutor for the execution of five of the six individuals for these offences is, in my opinion, a sentence lacking any sense of proportionality. Accordingly, the request for the imposition of the death penalty is, in my view, a violation of international human rights law”.
These initial observations will form part of a comprehensive full legal analysis report which will be released in last January 2019.