In July 2021, the Saudi Court of Appeal approved the death sentence against Saudi political detainee Asaad Mekki Shober, putting his life at risk of execution any minute.
On April 28, 2017, Asaad, 38, was arrested while driving his wife to her workplace in Asir region. The arresting forces did not present him the arrest warrant.
Asaad faced violations and Ill-treatment in prison. He was denied the right to appoint a lawyer during the interrogations and was held in solitary confinement for long periods, during which he was deprived of communicating with his family or the outside world.
He was also subjected to various types of psychological and physical torture, forcing him to confess under duress to crimes he did not commit.
After about two years of detention, The Specialised Criminal Court held the first session for Asaad and two other young men, Hussein Habib Al-Saeed and Raed Al-Khair, where their trial lasted for more than two years.
Asaad faced many charges including participating in demonstrations, chanting political slogans, calling for demonstrations and sit-ins, and joining an armed terrorist organisation, all of which he denied and confirmed that these charges are unfounded, and extracted under torture.
Asaad will be executed if the Supreme Court upholds the sentence, and if the Saudi King or his representative signed the court ruling.
On April 29, 2015, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received the mandate of the Covenant in Saudi Arabia, following which he launched a campaign of arrest against prominent advocates and activists in the country, including Salman Al-Odah, Awad Al-Qarni and Ali Al-Omari, who are being detained on charges of “terrorism and conspiracy against the state”.
Many appeals were made by international and non-governmental human rights organisations, public figures and activists calling for their release, however the Saudi authorities referred them to farcical trials, in which the prosecution demanded their execution.