In bid to stop teen execution, Austria moves to shut Saudi-founded faith center

 

 

The Austrian foreign ministry says the government is preparing to shut down a Saudi-backed center for religious dialogue in Vienna in an attempt to prevent the execution of 18-year-old Murtaja Qureiris.

Saudi authorities arrested Qureiris when he was 13, three years after he participated in a bike protest during the 2011 Arab Spring. He is now facing the death penalty in Saudi Arabia after being held for almost four years in pre-trial detention, as detailed in a CNN report published last week.

Austria's parliament passed a resolution Wednesday, which said it would "use all political and diplomatic means available to prevent the execution" of the teenager. The resolution also calls on the government to "quit the treaty concerning the residency of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) [in Austria]."

The resolution goes on to say that "after the (Jamal) Khashoggi case the Saudi government has once again shown how it deals with its critics and that it doesn't even shy away from murdering children/teenagers."

Austria's Foreign Ministry has said that it is assessing "the legally necessary steps and (preparing) the implementation process."

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