Human rights activists are campaigning to save the life of the first woman in Saudi Arabia to be sentenced to death over her political activism.
Israa al-Ghomgham, 29, was arrested along with her husband Moussa al-Hashem in December 2015 for their roles in organising anti-government protests in eastern Qatif province in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. She was arrested for offences including calling for the release of political prisoners and an end to anti-Shia government discrimination, a common allegation in Shia majority Qatif.
In a hearing at Riyadh’s specialised criminal court earlier this month, the public prosecutor recommended Ms Ghomgham and five other defendants face beheading under anti-terrorism legislation.
Ms Ghomgham is a “well known human rights defender”, according to the Germany based European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR).
The decision sets a “dangerous precedent” for female activists in the deeply conservative country, ESOHR director Ali Adubisi said in a statement.