Saudi Arabia: Public Beheading Possible for Australian held on Terror Charges
By Drishya Nair | May 4, 2013 11:25 PM EST
An Australian national detained by the Saudi Arabian government 18 months ago continues to be held in a jail outside Riyadh. There is now concern 25-year-old Shayden Thorne, who has been charged with terrorism-related offences, may face the death penalty.
Thorne was arrested in November 2011 after a laptop believed to belong to him was found to contain "terrorism-related material". Thorne's family say the laptop was borrowed from a mosque but security forces claim it was recovered during a raid on a gathering of extremists.
"You are subject to the law of the country you are in. Shayden has chosen to live there for 12 years and the laws of Saudi Arabia apply to him or anyone else in his position," the 65-year-old Senator stressed.
Tortured in Jail
Meanwhile, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) quotes Thorne's 23-year-old brother, Junaid Mohammad Thorne, as saying his brother was "beaten very badly". Junaid also demanded to know why the government took 18 months to make the charges public and why they had detained him for so long in the absence of formal accusations.
Thorne's mother, understandably upset, accused the Australian government of dragging their heels over the situation. She claimed: "If they've got evidence against them OK, fine, but there's nothing. I just think that they [Canberra] are not doing as much as what they should be."
Experts Urge Caution
In what is likely to disappoint Thorne's supporters further, international policy experts believe there is a real threat of a death penalty for the young Australian.
"We really have to understand Saudi Arabia is an authoritarian regime, it's a heavy police state. They come down very strongly on... someone posing a security threat... own understanding of how to manage interrogations and jail terms, they are not a democracy," Alexey Muraviev, a researcher with Curtin University in Perth said.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 1: San Francisco Giants 7, Kansas City Royals 1 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series - Game 2: Kansas City Royals 7, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
- NFL Thursday Recap - Denver Broncos 35, San Diego Chargers 21: Peyton Manning Has 3 TDs In Easy Win [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 3: Kansas City Royals 3, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Six English Words Which Originated From Arabic
- ISIS Educates Young Children in 'School of Jihad,' Deploys Them in Active Combat After Graduation [VIDEO]
- Robots May Be Used to Fight Ebola in West Africa; Australian PM Admits US, UK Asked For Medical Teams
- Decades-Long Mystery of Oklahoma Lake Solved, Missing Six Bodies Identified
- Gay Community In Liberia Persecuted For Ebola; Church Leaders Call Virus 'Punishment' For Homosexuality
- Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Verizon Motorola Droid Turbo Leaked Live Images Surfaces, Scheduled To Get Unveiled On Oct 28
- Update HTC One M7 with LG G2 with Android 4.4.2 as Sprint OTA: Fixes and Installation
- U.S. Targets Buyers of ISIS Oil, Threatens Sanctions
- ISIS Syria Airstrike Bombing Has Killed 550 People, Civilians Included
- Russia Blocking OSCE Monitoring Of Its Border With Ukraine
- Russia Shifts Blame On US For Ukraine Crisis, Putin Accuses West of 'Remaking World'