This 20 February 2019 video is called Saudi scholar Salman Al-Awda facing the death penalty.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
In Saudi Arabia, the prosecutor has demanded the death penalty against a popular Muslim clergyman. It is not clear why Salman al-Awda has been charged, but according to human rights organizations he is persecuted because of constant criticism of the monarchy. He thinks that it should become more modern.
From Middle East Eye today:
Saudi Arabia seeks death penalty for Sunni scholar Salman Odah
Known for his progressive views, Odah is the first Sunni scholar to be sentenced to death in crackdown led by Saudi crown prince
A Saudi prosecutor demanded the death penalty for prominent Sunni scholar Salman al-Odah on Tuesday, his son and Saudi rights groups confirmed.
Odah, 61, is an internationally renowned Sunni Muslim scholar and cleric known for his progressive views on controversial social issues.
He was referred to a secret trial in mid-August in Riyadh after nearly a year in detention without charges.
Saudi official media announced on Tuesday that “a person affiliated with a terrorist organisation” was sentenced to death, but did not name Odah.
Saudi rights activists told Middle East Eye that leaked news from a Riyadh court confirmed that the person is Salman al-Odah, who is affiliated to the International Union of Muslim Scholars, which the kingdom has labelled as a “terrorist organisation”.
Charges were not declared at the beginning of the trial. Instead, on Tuesday, the state prosecutor brought 37 charges against Odah, including “leading a terrorist group” and “inciting public opinion against the ruler”.
In response to the news, thousands of Saudis took part in a viral hashtag on social media “Salman al-Odah is not a terrorist” and demanded his release.
‘A bad omen’
“The death penalty against Odah would be a bad omen for what is yet to come”, Yehia Assiri, activist and director of the London-based AL-Qist human rights organisation, told MEE.
Odah, Assiri said, was not a typical political opponent. He did not publicly criticise Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman or the Saudi government, but it is his reformist views which threaten the state, Assiri said.
Odah was detained on 10 September 2017, along with 20 other people, as part of a crackdown that saw many moderate Islamic clerics detained after Mohammed bin Salman became the kingdom’s crown prince and heir to the throne in June 2017.
Odah, who has more than 14 million Twitter followers, was arrested after tweeting a prayer for reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbour Qatar: “May God harmonise between their hearts for the good of their people”, he said before his detention.
Last June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and destabilising the region using its media outlets, including Al Jazeera.
The Saudi embassy in London did not immediately respond to MEE’s request for comment.