DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Rights groups are warning that a female Shiite activist detained in Saudi Arabia since December 2015 may be beheaded along with other activists.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other groups have said that Israa al-Ghomgham and at least four other activists face execution for participating in 2011 Arab Spring protests in eastern Saudi Arabia's Shiite heartland.
Human Rights Watch says al-Ghomgham is the "first female activist to possibly face the death penalty for her human rights-related work, which sets a dangerous precedent for other women activists currently behind bars."
The U.S. State Department said Wednesday it was aware of al-Ghomgham's case and remains "deeply concerned by the detention of activists in Saudi Arabia."
Saudi officials didn't respond to a request for comment on Thursday amid the Eid al-Adha holiday.