Mustafa al-Darwish, in prison since his 17, executed in Saudi Arabia for an “offensive” photo


A 26-year-old Mustafa al-Darwish, who had been in prison since the age of 17, was recently executed in Saudi Arabia for keeping an “offensive” photo saved on his mobile phone. The beheading of the boy took place even though the Riyadh government has solemnly pledged in recent months not to apply the death penalty to the accused who ended up on trial for crimes committed when they were minors. Relatives of the victim claim to have learned the news of Mustafa’s execution-only from online news.

According to the testimonies provided by the relatives of the victim, he was arrested on the island of Tarot, in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, by the royal police for the first time in 2015, as accused of having participated, between 2011 and 2012. , to the demonstrations in defense of the Shiite minority present in the east of the Islamic country. Participation in these riots of the Arab Spring had then cost the boy an indictment for “attempted destruction of national cohesion by participating in more than 10 revolts”. Despite the seriousness of the charge, the young man was released almost immediately by the authorities of the Kingdom, but his release would not last long.

Mustafa would be quickly returned to prison because of a photo found on his mobile phone by the Saudi security forces, who, before releasing him, had confiscated this very device; the agents had considered offensive towards them and towards the State, a particular image saved in the memory of the accused’s mobile phone, consequently triggering the arrest of the latter again and at the same time reopening the doors of the penitentiary. After this second incarceration, due to a photo, Mustafa would remain behind bars, on death row, for six years, until his recent beheading.

In all this time spent in prison, the family members of the victim have denounced, he would have been subjected to brutal interrogations, in which he would have been stunned until he lost consciousness several times and, to stop the violence against him, he would have confessed to being a dangerous conspirator. The extorted admission of his conspiratorial activity had therefore led to the hasty death sentence of Mustafa.

The news of the young man’s execution plunged his family into absolute pain, who commented on the story with the following heart-breaking words: “How can they execute a boy because of a photograph on his phone? We have not known since his arrest. other than pain. It is a living death for the whole family. ” What angers both the relatives of the condemned man and the human rights NGOs is the fact that this beheading took place although the Riyadh government, in the last five years, has repeatedly promised, even before the United Nations bodies, not to execute any person detained for crimes committed in minor age.



Alaina is a young writer passionate about sharing her work with the world. She has a strong interest in new writing styles and is always trying to find ways to be more creative.

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