Ali Mohammed Nimr was 17 when he was arrested without warrant by police in 2012 for taking part in an "Arab Spring" protest against the Saudi government.
The nephew of a prominent government critic, Nimr was held without charge for two years at a prison in Dammam in the kingdom's Eastern Province. Amnesty International charged in a report last month that he was tortured into confessing to taking part in the illegal protest, attacking security forces, possessing a machine gun and committing armed robbery.
Now Saudi authorities reportedly plan to behead the young man and display his remains in public. The sentence has ignited an international uproar by human rights defenders and exposed the kingdom to fresh criticism that it violates the principles it pledged to uphold as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.