On August 19-20, several websites carried reports that a human rights activist in Saudi Arabia, Israa al-Ghomgham, had been executed.
The story was promoted by multiple Twitter accounts, including @Manum_Babloo, whose original tweet was shared over 12,000 times by August 21, and was followed by a video purporting to show the execution and further “proof” from other news sources.
Saudi Arabia beheaded Human Right Activist & #Shia women ” Esraa al-Ghamgam” from Qatif. She was sentenced to death for her criticism of Government over injustice to #Shia community. Her last words were b4 beheading: “I am being killed innocent, I will seek justice from God.
Though the original story is still online in several places and the most shared tweets have not been deleted, several people, including @Manum_Babloo later posted corrections, clarifying that Israa al-Ghomgham is in fact still alive.
On August 21, international NGO Human Rights Watch reported that activists in Saudi Arabia had confirmed that the government’s Public Prosecutor has requested the death penalty for five activists including Israa al-Ghomgham. Their next court date will be October 28, according to the New York-based watchdog.
Several news organizations have cited information from the European Saudi Organization for Human Rights (ESOHR), which says the prosecution requested the death penalty for Israa al-Ghomgham on August 2.
When contacted by WikiTribune, a spokesperson for the ESOHR said they confirmed their information from someone who was a neighbour of Israa al-Ghomgham, but who now lives in London.
WikiTribune has sent inquiries to the Saudi Ministry of Justice to seek further information.
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