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Three men sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for resisting "displacements" in Neom project

Saudi Arabia Architecture News - Oct 26, 2022 - 11:18   5765 views

Three men sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for resisting

Three men have been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for resisting "displacements" in Neom project site by Saudi Arabia’s Specialised Criminal Court (SCC), according to a report by ALQST, an independent human rights organization. 

The organization reported that the three men, Shadli al-Huwaiti, Ibrahim al-Huwaiti and Ataullah al-Huwaiti, had been sentenced to death on October 2 after being "forcibly evicted and displaced to make way for the Neom mega project". 

The $500 billion Neom mega project is currently under construction in the Tabuk Province of northwestern Saudi Arabia.

The three men were convicted on 2 October by Saudi Arabia’s Specialised Criminal Court for organizing against the forced eviction program of the local people who criticized the $500 billion Neom mega project and came into force to pave the way for its construction.

Three men sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for resisting

Image courtesy of Neom

According to ALQST, "even before the April 2020 killing of Abdul Rahim al-Huwaiti, other members of the Huwaitat tribe had been arrested for refusing to be evicted from their homes, and others have been arrested since." 

"Some have been sentenced to extraordinary prison terms: Abdullah and Abdulilah al-Huwaiti were each sentenced in August 2022 to 50 years," said ALQST.

The three men are members of the Huwaitat tribe, a tribe has largely given up nomadic lifestyle and live in villages. 

"These shocking sentences once again show the Saudi authorities' callous disregard for human rights, and the cruel measures they are prepared to take to punish members of the Huwaitat tribe for legitimately protesting against forced eviction from their homes," said ALQST's Head of Events Abdullah Aljuraywi.

Three men sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for resisting

Image courtesy ALQST

The organization reported that Ibrahim al-Huwaiti, one of the members of the group, was one of the local residents' delegation in Tabuk province that met with Saudi government officials in 2020 to secure the Neom land.

Ataullah al-Huwaiti's conviction is also reported to be the reason of being seen "in several videos talking about the misery his family and all the other displaced residents were facing as a result of the decision to evict them".

Repotedly, "Shadli al-Huwaiti is the brother of Abdul Rahim al-Huwaiti, shot dead by security forces in April 2020 in his home in Al-Khariba," the group added.

"ALQST categorically rejects the death sentences"

"What these examples all demonstrate are the arbitrary and despotic methods by which the Saudi authorities pursue their plans, with no respect for people’s rights to decent housing, and without those who wish to raise complaints having any recourse to justice. Not only are the authorities persisting in this course, but they are now going even further by sentencing to death those who object to their unjust decisions or complain about the consequences," said ALQST.

The group added that "ALQST categorically rejects the death sentences passed on Shadli, Ataullah and Ibrahim al-Huwaiti – and use of the death penalty in principle – as well as the lengthy prison sentences handed down earlier on Abdullah and Abdulilah, and it calls for pressure on the Saudi authorities to quash these unjust sentences."

"It also has grave fears concerning the increasingly harsh approach the Saudi authorities are taking toward members of the Huwaitat tribe detained for resisting eviction from their homes," added the group.

Three men sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for resisting

The Line is under construction in Saudi Arabia. Screenshot from a drone video by The B1M/Twitter

Saudi Arabia builds 170-kilometre-long mirrored skyscraper: The Line

A 100-mile-long (170-kilometre) linear city, known as The Line, is being built as part of Neom project in the Tabuk Province of northwestern Saudi Arabia which will incorporate smart technologies.

Alongside The Line proejct, another mega project, called Trojena, offers a series of facilities designed by world-renowned architects, including Zaha Hadid Architects, UNStudio, German architecture firm LAVA, global architecture firm Aedas, Australian architecture studio Bureau Proberts.

Currently, Saudi Arabian artist and photography company Ot Sky revealed a drone video from the construction of The Line.

Top image courtesy of Neom.

> via ALQST 

Neom The Line