A Saudi teenager held for more than four years without charge faces possible execution for acts he is accused of having committed when he was as young as 10, according to human rights groups tracking his case. A death sentence for the teenager, Murtaja Qureiris, now 18, would be what the groups called one of the most egregious violations of legal protections for children in the world.

“There are few more serious breaches of international law than the execution of a child,” said Maya Foa, director of Reprieve, one of the rights groups. She said that in seeking the death penalty for Murtaja, “the Saudi regime is advertising its impunity to the world.”

The defendant was arrested at age 13 and has been in jail since. The charges against him, some from three years before the arrest, are related to his participation in antigovernment protests and include possessing a firearm and joining a terrorist organization.

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