Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was just 17 when he was arrested in 2012 and accused of taking part in anti-government protests and illegally possessing firearms; he was sentenced to death by crucifixion in 2014. Now, Saudi Arabia has dismissed his final appeal and he has no other legal options to fight the sentence, Middle East Monitor reports. As the International Business Times reports, it appears al-Nimr's connection to Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr—his uncle and a prominent religious leader and critic of the Saudi regime—is a large part of the case against him. With the elder al-Nimr scheduled to be executed this week—there's been no confirmation of it happening so far—activists fear his nephew could also be executed within days.
Activists say the younger al-Nimr was tortured, denied access to lawyers, and forced to sign a confession under duress; they claim there is no evidence of firearms offenses al-Nimr was charged with, and al-Nimr and his family deny all the charges against him. His trial did not meet international standards, reports IBT, and his appeal was held in secret without al-Nimr knowing about it. "No one should have to go through the ordeal Ali has suffered—torture, forced ‘confession’, and an unfair, secret trial process," says an advocate at legal charity Reprieve. "His execution—based apparently on the authorities’ dislike for his uncle, and his involvement in anti-government protests—would violate international law and the most basic standards of decency." (Read why these workers crucified themselves.)