Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was arrested in 2012 for taking part in pro-democracy protests in Saudi Arabia when he was just 17 years old and was sentenced to death by beheading and crucifixion on 27 May 2014.
Experts, including the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns said imposing the death penalty on someone who was a child at the time of offending and after allegations of torture was “incompatible with Saudi Arabia’s international obligations”.
Jason McCrossan spoke to @Reprieve spokesperson Kate Higham who explains exactly what happened to Ali and what action needs to be taken now to save his life.
Animal behaviour expert and Vet Dr Gary Weitzman is the author of a new book from National Geographic, How To Speak Cat, and tells Jason McCrossan that cats are far more loving and dependent on human affection than many of us realise. He chatted to Jason McCrossan on 106.9 SFM www.sfmradio.com Monday Matters.
The latest James Bond theme song has been released today (25 Sept) sung by Sam Smith and called “Writing’s on the Wall”.
The song has been written for the 24th instalment of the franchised film genre which tells the story of Bond’s first encounter with the global criminal agency known as SPECTRE. It was once again directed by Sam Mendes.
I often think that writing a song for Bond must be a little bit like writing for Eurovision – everyone has an opinion and it is never as good as when ‘Bucks Fizz’ did it; which can be seen by the fact that Dame Shirley Bassey’s Goldfinger song started trending.
Smith’s Writing’s on the Wall feels rather timid and underplayed compared to previous Bond themes. It starts off well with the crashing string harmonies and atmospheric ‘the lady like’s Milk-Tray’ horn section. However, it then goes into what feels like any other pop song – that only hints at being for the famous franchise. In fact, it starts very much like Adele’s Skyfall – but where Adele’s song develops into a fully formed- “this is a Bond song, get over it” – I’m not sure Sam’s does. It doesn’t feel memorable. When my mind replays Adele, I can clearly hear her vocals pitching up and down – like a boat in a gale force 8 storm – her voice crescendoing up and over as she reaches the crest of “skyfaaaAAALLLLL” with the stings & horns crashing around her – giving it that memorable sound. “Writing’s on the Wall” is ok for a song – but maybe not for a great Bond song and is only memorable in that it has Sam’s voice stamped all over it.
Then again – maybe it’s a generational thing. I loved Casino Royale and thought it heralded a new era in bond; and then found no solace in 2008’s Quantum; and was left suitably unimpressed by large chunks of Skyfall. So maybe, the whole modern Bond thing just isn’t for me. I loved my Bond when he made a witty off-the-cuff remark after jumping 500 feet from a cable car or when the villain cartwheeled over rivers and escaped in a flying car.
Spectre is scheduled to be released on 26 October 2015 in the United Kingdom on the same night as the world premiere in London, followed by the worldwide release on 6 November.
On Monday Matters tonight our featured artist is the US singer and songwriter Bruce Springsteen, ‘The Boss’, who celebrates his birthday on Wednesday September 23.
Jason speaks to animal behaviourist Dr Gary Wietzman who as well as writing books on how to talk to your animals runs the San Diego Humane Society.
In our Night-Time Report Lord Ashcroft’s unauthorised biography of David Cameron is discussed with Skynews Adam Boulton and the books co-author Isabel Oakeshott as doubt is cast over the credibility of some of the stories.
In tonight’s music news Kyra tells us about Rhianna latest album and news on the Beatles first contract which has been sold in auction.
A recording of Sir Elton John’s phone call with two pranksters – one claiming to be Vladimir Putin – was released last week. We will play an excerpt of the tape – which by ‘prank call’ standards – is a bit lame.
And in the final hour – Music Matters – we hear music and interviews from the Life of Tina Turner.
BRIT-Award winning singer Beverley Craven became a household name in the early 90’s with the release of her eponymous debut album which became a worldwide hit, selling more than two million copies. Her 1991 single, ‘Promise Me’, went on to become a huge hit across Europe and she followed this up with a string of chart successes including ‘Memories’, Holding On’, ‘Woman To Woman’ and ‘Love Scenes’.
On the 28th of July 2014, Beverley celebrated her birthday and was kind enough to speak to Jason on his Monday Matters radio show about her forthcoming album “Change Of Heart” which was released on 1st September.
This morning we are after tales of miscalculations.
Our poem in tranquil time this morning is by Robert Louis Stevenson – Where Go The Boats – read this morning by Gill Fraser Lee.
Also after 8am – Blankety Blank returns with Feather Barkweasle – for the final time. All you need to do is guess the word from the question and match with either Jason or Feather. Next week will see the start of a new game.
After 9pm it’s Pick of The Number One pops – today we start in 1960.
A Saudi Arabian activist has had his death sentence by beheading and crucifixion for alleged participation in anti-government protests. The offenses he “confessed” to had taken place when he was 17 years old. He has exhausted his appeals and may be executed as soon as the King ratifies the sentence.
Ali al-Nimr was sentenced to death on 27 May 2014. The sentence has now been upheld by appeal judges at the Specialised Criminal Court (SCC) and by the Supreme Court, according to his family, who have only just learned of the courts’ decisions. The case was sent
to the Ministry of Interior in August 2015 for the sentence to be implemented. He is liable to be executed as soon as the
King has ratified the sentence.
Saudi Arabia is one of the most prolific executioners in the world, putting more than 2,200 people to death between 1985 and 2015. Between January and the end of August 2015, it executed at least 130 people, almost half of them for offences that do not meet the threshold of “most serious crimes” for which the death penalty can be imposed under international
Saudi Arabia also sentences people to death, and executes them, for crimes committed when they were below 18 years
of age, in violation of the country’s obligations under customary international law and the Convention on the Rights of the
Ali al-Nimr had been arrested on 14 February 2012, when he was 17 years old, and taken to the General Directorate of
Investigations (GDI) prison in Dammam, in the Eastern Province. He was not allowed to see his lawyer and has said that
GDI officers tortured him to make him sign a “confession”. He was then taken to a centre for juvenile rehabilitation, Dar alMulahaza, and was returned to the GDI prison in Dammam when he turned 18.
Ali al-Nimr is the nephew of a prominent Shi’a cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, from al-Awamiyya in Qatif, eastern Saudi
Arabia, who was sentenced to death by the Specialized Criminal Court on 15 October 2014.