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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Saudi Arabian Sentenced to Death for Witchcraft

From the Vaults:

A Saudi Arabian man has been sentenced to death for practicing witchcraft after he made "psychic predictions" on TV from his home. Arrested over a year earlier while on pilgrimage, the man joins three others awaiting death for the same offense, including a woman who was arrested for making predictions. Two of these were arrested in the same month as the accused, Ali Sibat. Reports indicate officials coerced Sibat into "confessing" to communicating with spirits in return for his freedom, which was never granted; instead, he was sentenced to death for practicing sorcery.

Saudi Arabian law has no specific definition of "witchcraft," and the New York-based Human Rights Watch activist group claims officials use it as a catch-all to unjustly convict anyone engaging in any activity deemed "un-Islamic."

Human Rights Watch accused Saudi Arabia of "sanctioning a literal witch hunt by the religious police" - a practice of which all Islamic countries are guilty. The group is calling for the Saudi Arabian government to overturn these convictions and abandon the death sentence in such convictions. Amnesty International is said to have taken-up the cause, as well.

104 of the 140 people on death row in the country are foreign. One of those convicted of sorcery is an Asian man who "used his powers" to solve a marital dispute. Another is said to have defaced a copy of the abominable Qur'an.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

1 comment:

  1. The Lebanese Prime Minister told Ali Sabat's lawyer that he had been granted a stay of execution. Sabat's execution had been scheduled for today.

    Sabat's lawyer made it clear that, "If they don't kill him this Friday, maybe [they will kill him] next Friday."