Press Release

AFT President Requests Meeting with Saudi Ambassador to Discuss Fate of 14 Men, including Prospective Western Michigan University Student

For Release:


Janet Bass

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten sent a letter today to Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, requesting a meeting to discuss the fate of 14 imprisoned Saudis sentenced to death by beheading for attending peaceful protests. Among the prisoners is Mujtaba’a al-Sweikat, who was detained as he was headed to the United States to begin college at Western Michigan University.

“As I know you are familiar with our family and community culture in the United States, I am appealing to your compassion as a father and son to intervene with His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to suspend the sentences,” Weingarten wrote Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Mujtaba’a al-Sweikat had been accepted to attend Western Michigan University. The AFT represents WMU faculty.

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.