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Parliamentary questions
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17 March 2016
Question for written answer E-002257-16
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 130
Josef Weidenholzer (S&D)

 Subject:  VP/HR — Executions of activists and minors in Saudi Arabia
 Answer in writing 

On 2 January 2016 the Government of Saudi Arabia executed 47 individuals, including prominent opposition activist and cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr. Sheikh Nimr’s nephew Ali al-Nimr remains on death row for a crime he reportedly committed as a minor. Hasan al‐Zaher and Dawood Hussein al-Marhoon sit alongside him on death row for crimes they also reportedly committed as minors. All three men were arrested on charges related to the exercise of their freedoms of speech and assembly.

— Given that the EU is committed to ending the death penalty, and given its commitment to protecting the right to freedom of expression, what does the VP/HR plan to do to halt the executions of Ali al-Nimr, Hasan al-Zaher and Dawood Hussein al-Marhoon?

— Will the VP/HR publicly and unequivocally condemn Saudi Arabia for violating its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Saudi Arabia is a party?

— What does the VP/HR plan to do to ensure that the Government of Saudi Arabia stops its use of the death penalty against activists?

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