Saudi Arabia to execute three scholars charged with ‘terrorism’ after Ramadan

Three prominent and moderate scholars held by Riyadh on multiple charges of terrorism will be executed shortly after Ramadan, reported the the Middle East Eye. 

According to the report, the most prominent of these is Sheikh Salman al-Odah, an internationally renowned scholar known for his comparatively progressive views in the Islamic world on Sharia and homosexuality.

Odah was arrested in September 2017 shortly after tweeting a prayer for reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbour Qatar, three months after Riyadh launched a blockade on the emirate.

The other two slated for execution are Awad al-Qarni, a Sunni preacher, academic and author, and Ali al-Omari, a popular broadcaster. They too were arrested in September 2017.

Al-Awdah is an internationally renowned progressive Islamic scholar described by UN experts as a “reformist”, al-Qarni is a preacher, academic and author, and al-Omari is a popular broadcaster.

“They will not wait to execute these men once the death sentence has been passed,” one unnamed source told Middle East Eye.

Another Saudi government source said the execution last month of 37 of the country’s nationals was used as a “trial balloon” to gauge the strength of international condemnation, the outlet reported.

All who were executed were Saudi nationals.

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