A Saudi Arabia court sentenced a man to death for attacking a Spanish theatre group while performing in Riyadh, according to state-run media. Saudi Arabia's Penal Court handed another man a 12-year-and-a-half year prison sentence for helping the main defendant commit the crime in November, Efe news reported, citing al-Ekhbariya channel on Sunday.
During the trial that began on December 19, the man sentenced to death was accused of terrorist acts and attempt to prevent the organization and celebration of leisure activities in the ultraconservative country.
The convict, who is of Yemeni nationality according to al-Ekhbariya, attacked actors with a knife, leaving three of them injured. The attack was carried out on the orders of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, according to the channel.
The attack took place at the King Abdullah Park, where the theatre group was performing as part of a cultural festival organised by the Saudi authorities. The resurgence of leisure and culture in Saudi Arabia takes place after decades of prohibitions by rigid Islamic rules, which led to the veto of movie theatres and music, among other things.
Concerts and sporting events have been part of a policy of social opening launched by Crown Prince Mohamad Bin Salman in 2017 in a country that this year ended segregation of sexes in restaurants and allowed women to travel without consent from a male guardian.