Saudi prosecutor seeks death penalty for 10 judges: rights group

Saudi prosecutor seeks death penalty for 10 judges: rights group
The judges facing the death penalty have themselves been accused of committing human rights violations.
1 min read
28 February, 2023
The 10 Saudi judges have been held in detention since April 2022 [Getty]

A court has charged 10 judges for terror-related crimes that could result in the death penalty as part of a purge of the country's judiciary by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a Saudi rights group has said.

The Specialised Criminal Court (SCC) in Riyadh charged six current and four former judges with "high treason" at a secret hearing earlier this month, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) said on Monday. 

"The shocking charges leveled against these judges, many of whom have issued egregiously abusive sentences against Saudi citizens at the behest of the crown prince, demonstrates that no one is safe in Saudi Arabia," said Abdullah Alaoudh, Gulf Director at DAWN.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman became de-facto leader of Saudi Arabia after his ailing father, King Salman, assumed formal authority in 2015.

While orchestrating a modernisation drive, the crown prince also come down hard on critics. There have been sweeping arrests and mass executions during his rule.

He has faced international criticism for the crackdown, but some world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, have relented somewhat in their criticism of the Saudi leader.