A disabled Saudi Arabian man has been sentenced to death for allegedly participating in anti-government protests.
A criminal court in Riyadh found Munir al-Adam, 23, guilty for “attacks on police” and other offenses that took place during protests in 2011, the Independent reports. Adam was arrested in 2012, when he was 18-years-old.
The court sentenced him to death by beheading.
At the time of his arrest, Adam was partially deaf; he is now partially blind and claims to be completely deaf in one ear because of severe beatings by police.
Adam’s family said in a statement that they reject the verdict and that he was tortured into confessing. Adam said he signed a document admitting to the offenses only after he was repeatedly beaten.
One of the accusations against him was for sending texts, of which he said he was too poor to even own a mobile phone.
“Munir Adam’s appalling case illustrates how the Saudi authorities are all too happy to subject the most vulnerable people to the swordsman’s blade,” Maya Foa of human rights organization Reprieve, said. “Saudi Arabia’s close allies, including the UK, must urge the kingdom to release Munir…”
Adam is appealing his sentence.
According to Reprieve, three juveniles were also sentenced to death for participating in protests: Ali al Nimr, Dawood al Marhoon, and Abdullah al Zaher.
The organization also reports that Adam was never allowed to speak with a lawyer and had to write his own defense.
According to research performed by Reprieve in 2015, at least 72 percent of those facing execution in Saudi Arabia were sentenced to death for non-violent alleged crimes, and that torture and forced confessions were common.
The organization refers to Saudi Arabia as “one of the world’s most prolific executioners.”
As of July, 108 beheadings had taken place in the country so far in 2016, according to the Independent.
In October alone, 10 executions took place in Saudi Arabia, according to Capital Punishment UK; all but one were beheadings.