Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor has requested the death penalty for Salman al-Awdah [Public domain/ Wikimedia Commons]

The potential execution by Saudi authorities of the detained scholar Salman al-Awdah would amount to “state-sanctioned murder”, his son has warned.

In an op-ed published in the Guardian newspaper on Tuesday, Abdullah al-Awdah said the arrest and possible execution of his father is part of a concerted effort by Saudi Arabia to “quash dissent and silence political activists and human rights defenders”.

An internationally acclaimed religious scholar described by UN experts as a reformist, al-Awdah was arrested in September 2017 over a tweet in which he called for reconciliation with Qatar, according to Human Rights Watch.

Riyadh had a few months earlier cut ties with Doha and imposed

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