Man who wanted to attend Western Michigan University as teen beheaded in Saudi Arabia

Posted at 11:49 PM, Apr 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-23 23:49:29-04

(WXYZ) — There is anger and anguish tonight over the execution of a Saudi Arabian man who once hoped to attend college here in Michigan.

Mutjaba al-Sweikat was headed to Western Michigan University in 2012 when he was detained at the airport in Saudi Arabia. He was just 17 at the time when he was arrested for allegedly going to a pro-democracy rally during the Arab Spring.

Tuesday night, the Saudi Press Agency says Mutjaba al-Sweikat was one of more than 30 people beheaded in a mass execution.

Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell was among those fighting to save his life.

Mutjaba al-Sweikat was convicted of crimes including terrorism and diobedience against the king. A human rights group says he was totured into making a confession.