A Saudi Arabian mother is begging President Obama to intervene before authorities behead her son and crucify his corpse. Nusra al-Ahmed, whose son, Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, was 17 when he was arrested for taking part in anti-government protests, tells the Guardian that the gruesome punishment is "backwards in the extreme" and "no sane person" would order it, especially for a teenager who hadn't stolen any property or shed any blood. Al-Nimr's final appeal has been rejected and he could be executed any day. "For other people every hour is composed of 60 minutes, but for me every hour is 60 beats of pain," his mother says. She says her son, now 21, was protesting peacefully and was tortured so badly in custody that she didn't recognize him at first.
Obama, she says, "is the head of this world and he can ... interfere and rescue my son," she tells the Guardian. "My son and I are simple people and we don't carry any significance in this world," but if Obama "carried out this act, I feel it would raise his esteem in the eyes of the world. He would be rescuing us from a great tragedy." An Obama administration official says the US is "deeply concerned" and has urged the Saudi government to "respect universal human rights and its international obligations," the BBC reports. Activists say the unusual sentence is the Saudi government's way of deterring other protesters. (A 74-year-old British expat in the kingdom has been sentenced to 360 lashes for possessing wine.)