Saudi Arabia Set to Execute Soothsayer for Sorcery

UPDATE (4/2/10):  ‘Ali Hussain Sibat has been granted a stay of execution.  But there was no indication that Sibat’s death sentence would be commuted or that he would be released.

Having worked on death penalty cases both internationally and the United States for more than two decades, I’ve gotten used to some strange and unnerving stories.  But today comes one from Saudi Arabia that has to rank toward the top of my outrage scale.

A Lebanese national, possibly ‘Ali Hussain Sibat, is reported to be at imminent risk of execution and could be executed as early as tomorrow in Saudi Arabia, according to information received today by Amnesty International.

‘Ali Hussain Sibat, who is 46 and has five children, was a presenter on a TV show on the Lebanese satellite TV station Sheherazade, where he gave advice and predictions about the future. He was arrested by the Mutawa’een (religious police) on charges of “sorcery” in May 2008 while he was in Saudi Arabia to perform a form of Muslim pilgrimage, the ‘umra.

‘Ali Hussain Sibat was sentenced to death by a court in Madina in November 2009 after secret court hearings where he had no legal representation or assistance. Amnesty International is concerned that the charge of “sorcery” and others arose solely from the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression.

This has to stop.  The death penalty is wrong is all cases, but in this particular one, the range of outrages from the unfair trial to the nature of the charges requires special action.  CNN has picked up on the story.

Time is short.  Please fax the king of Saudi Arabia and have him stop this travesty.  The address is below:

King and Prime Minister

His Majesty King ‘Abdullah Bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Al-Saud

The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques

Office of His Majesty the King

Royal Court, Riyadh

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Fax: (via Ministry of the Interior)

+966 1 403 1185 (please keep trying)

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6 thoughts on “Saudi Arabia Set to Execute Soothsayer for Sorcery

  1. I think it is really great that you are condemning Saudi for witch burning in the year 2010. Now if only Amnesty could also convince Saudi Arabia to free the hundreds of thousands of slaves held in that country in conditions of involuntary servitude, then Sauid Arabia could proudly enter the 18th century.

    The next time President Obama is humbly bowing in deep awe and reverence to the Saudi dictator as the President did just a few months ago, the President could maybe mention to the Saudi dictator that burning witches and owning black slaves is perhaps, I don't know, a bit inappropriate.

    But while While you are at it, Amnesty, could you please also take a few moments to also condemn the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank for passing death sentences on Palestinians who dare sell land to Jewish settlers ?

    source: Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/28/palestin

    And Amnesty, could you also please condemn Hamas in Gaza for regularly carrying out death sentences on Palestinians on charges of collaborating with Israel?

    In fact, the illegal Hamas entity's Minister of Interior in Gaza, Fathi Hammad, stated as recently as a few days ago, 24 March 2010, that Hamas had every intension of continuing to carry out death sentences on supposed collaborators as it has always done, no matter what any human rights groups thought about it.

    Source: The Palestinian Center for Human Rights
    http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?optio

    "The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is deeply concerned regarding statements by officials in the Gaza government on the implementation of death sentences against persons convicted of collaboration with the Israeli security services."

  2. I think it is really great that you are condemning Saudi for witch burning in the year 2010. Now if only Amnesty could also convince Saudi Arabia to free the hundreds of thousands of slaves held in that country in conditions of involuntary servitude, then Sauid Arabia could proudly enter the 18th century.

    The next time President Obama is humbly bowing in deep awe and reverence to the Saudi dictator as the President did just a few months ago, the President could maybe mention to the Saudi dictator that burning witches and owning black slaves is perhaps, I don't know, a bit inappropriate.

    But while While you are at it, Amnesty, could you please also take a few moments to also condemn the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank for passing death sentences on Palestinians who dare sell land to Jewish settlers ?

    source: Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/28/palestin

    And Amnesty, could you also please condemn Hamas in Gaza for regularly carrying out death sentences on Palestinians on charges of collaborating with Israel?

    In fact, the illegal Hamas entity's Minister of Interior in Gaza, Fathi Hammad, stated as recently as a few days ago, 24 March 2010, that Hamas had every intension of continuing to carry out death sentences on supposed collaborators as it has always done, no matter what any human rights groups thought about it.

    Source: The Palestinian Center for Human Rights
    http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?optio

    "The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is deeply concerned regarding statements by officials in the Gaza government on the implementation of death sentences against persons convicted of collaboration with the Israeli security services."

  3. I think it is really great that you are condemning Saudi for witch burning in the year 2010. Now if only Amnesty could also convince Saudi Arabia to free the hundreds of thousands of slaves held in that country in conditions of involuntary servitude, then Sauid Arabia could proudly enter the 18th century.

    The next time President Obama is humbly bowing in deep awe and reverence to the Saudi dictator as the President did just a few months ago, the President could maybe mention to the Saudi dictator that burning witches and owning black slaves is perhaps, I don't know, a bit inappropriate.

    But while While you are at it, Amnesty, could you please also take a few moments to also condemn the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank for passing death sentences on Palestinians who dare sell land to Jewish settlers ?

    source: Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/28/palestin

    And Amnesty, could you also please condemn Hamas in Gaza for regularly carrying out death sentences on Palestinians on charges of collaborating with Israel?

    In fact, the illegal Hamas entity's Minister of Interior in Gaza, Fathi Hammad, stated as recently as a few days ago, 24 March 2010, that Hamas had every intension of continuing to carry out death sentences on supposed collaborators as it has always done, no matter what any human rights groups thought about it.

    Source: The Palestinian Center for Human Rights
    http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?optio

    "The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is deeply concerned regarding statements by officials in the Gaza government on the implementation of death sentences against persons convicted of collaboration with the Israeli security services."

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  5. I think it is really great that you are condemning Saudi for witch burning in the year 2010. Now if only Amnesty could also convince Saudi Arabia to free the hundreds of thousands of slaves held in that country in conditions of involuntary servitude, then Sauid Arabia could proudly enter the 18th century.

    The next time President Obama is humbly bowing in deep awe and reverence to the Saudi dictator as the President did just a few months ago, the President could maybe mention to the Saudi dictator that burning witches and owning black slaves is perhaps, I don’t know, a bit inappropriate.

    But while While you are at it, Amnesty, could you please also take a few moments to also condemn the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank for passing death sentences on Palestinians who dare sell land to Jewish settlers ?

    source: Huffington Post
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/28/palestinian-sentenced-to_n_192359.html

    And Amnesty, could you also please condemn Hamas in Gaza for regularly carrying out death sentences on Palestinians on charges of collaborating with Israel?

    In fact, the illegal Hamas entity’s Minister of Interior in Gaza, Fathi Hammad, stated as recently as a few days ago, 24 March 2010, that Hamas had every intension of continuing to carry out death sentences on supposed collaborators as it has always done, no matter what any human rights groups thought about it.

    Source: The Palestinian Center for Human Rights

    http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6328:pchr-expresses-deep-concern-regarding-official-statements-on-death-penalty-application-in-the-gaza-strip-&catid=36:pchrpressreleases&Itemid=194

    “The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is deeply concerned regarding statements by officials in the Gaza government on the implementation of death sentences against persons convicted of collaboration with the Israeli security services.”

  6. Pingback: “Ali Hussain Sibat, Popular Lebanese TV Fortune Teller, to Be Executed in Saudi Arabia for “Witchcraft”” and related posts | Socialinks