Saudi Arabia: global education union movement mobilises to save the lives of 14 young men
Education International has expressed grave concern about the fate of the 14 imprisoned young Saudi citizens convicted and sentenced to death by beheading for attending peaceful protest actions.
EI: suspension of death sentences
“I am writing to express our grave concern about the fate of the 14 imprisoned young Saudi citizens who have been convicted and sentenced to death by beheading. This strikes us as cruel and unusual punishment for participation in peaceful protest actions,” stresses Education International (EI) General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen in his letter dated 1st August and addressed to H.E. Abdulrahman S. Alahmed, Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Head of the Kingdom Mission to the European Union.
One of these men, Mujtaba’a al-Sweikat, van Leeuwen notes, is a prospective college student accepted to study at Western Michigan University (WMU), an institution of higher education whose faculty is represented by one of EI’s American member organisations, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
He goes on stressing that the prospect of the death sentence of the 14 imprisoned young men being carried out “horrifies” EI, an organisation that opposes the death penalty, as does the European Union and its member states.
Appealing to the Saudi ambassador’s “compassion as a father and son to intervene with His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to suspend the sentences,” van Leeuwen also requests a meeting with him at his earliest convenience to discuss the fate of the 14 men.
AFT: request for a meeting with Saudi Ambassador to discuss the fate of the imprisoned Saudis
The AFT President Randi Weingarten also sent on 31 July a letter to Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States HE Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, requesting a meeting to discuss the fate of the 14 imprisoned Saudis.
“As I know you are familiar with our family and community culture in the United States, I am appealing to your compassion as a father and son to intervene with His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to suspend the sentences,” Weingarten writes.
She also emphasises that among the prisoners is Mujtaba’a al-Sweikat, who was detained as he was headed to the United States to begin college at WMU, which the AFT represents.
Click here to sign the petition to stop the imminent executions in Saudi Arabia