Death sentences against four Saudi men convicted of terrorism have been confirmed by 13 judges, a Saudi newspaper reported, raising the possibility of a new round of executions two months after 47 people including a prominent Shi'ite cleric were put to death.
International rights groups said the families of three young Shi'ite Muslim men feared their sons, arrested for involvement in anti-government protests while under the age of 18, were among those facing the death penalty. One is a nephew of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, the cleric whose execution in January led to a rupture of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Officials from the Saudi justice ministry and the interior ministry were not immediately available to comment.
Saudi newspaper Okaz
said: "The four terrorists awaiting the implementation of the death sentences complement the first group of 47." It said a total of 13 judges had considered the cases in three levels of hearings, but did not identify the four men.
Rights group Reprieve, which campaigns against the death penalty, said: "While details of the four in line for execution remain unclear, the reports will raise fears for three juveniles who are awaiting execution after their sentences ... were upheld in the SCC (Specialized Criminal Court) last year."