Statement by Maria Arena (S&D, Belgium), Chair of the European Parliament’s subcommittee on human rights and Hannah Neumann (The Greens/EFA, Germany), Chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula on Abdullah al-Howaiti being sentenced to death for the second time in Saudi Arabia.

“We are dismayed by the decision of the criminal court in Tabuk to sentence Abdullah al-Howaiti to death once again. The decision contradicts not only international human rights standards which prohibit the use of the death penalty for crimes committed under the age of 18, but also the Saudi Royal Order of 2020 announcing the end of the death penalty against minors at the time of the offense.

Abdullah al-Howaiti’s death sentence comes while Saudi authorities expressed willingness to engage in a meaningful dialogue with the EU on human rights, be it at executive or legislative level.

We hope that this sentence will be overturned by the Supreme Court once again. Not ratifying the death sentence of Abdullah al-Howaiti, quashing his conviction and ordering a retrial complying with international standards without resorting to capital punishment, would send a clear signal that positive legal changes are also fully applied by Saudi courts.”