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Tutu pleads clemency for 14 Arab Spring protestors facing death sentence

By: stagedoorscribbler - August 14, 2017

Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Photograph by Hattie Miles

Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s tireless campaign for peace and reconciliation continues.  The 85-year-old Nobel Laureate has joined calls for the King of Saudi Arabia to show mercy to 14 young people facing the death penalty for their involvement in protests following the Arab Spring five years ago.

Archbishop Tutu is one of nine Nobel Peace Prize winners who have signed the  letter calling on King Salman to show mercy to the minority Shiite Muslims.

They argue that the 14 were sentenced in a mass trial "based on the actions of the worst defendant” and include an 18-year-old accused of nothing more than supervising a Facebook group and taking photographs of the demonstrations.

The  signatories say that in a world where almost 2.5 billion people engage with social media the draconian sentences represent “a great injustice”.

* Clive Conway is chair of the Tutu Foundation UK.