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Death sentence for "witchcraft"

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Injinia, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. Injinia

    Injinia JF-Expert Member

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    Nov 25, 2009
    Joined: Feb 26, 2008
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    A man has been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for witchcraft because he makes predictions on television. Skip related content
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    Ali Sibat is not even a Saudi national. The Lebanese citizen was only visiting Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage when he was arrested in Medina last year.
    A court in the city condemned him as a witch on November 9.
    The only evidence presented in court was reportedly the claim he appeared regularly on Lebanese satellite issuing general advice on life and making predictions about the future.
    The case is causing outrage among human rights campaigners but has made little news elsewhere despite the ludicrous nature of the charges and the extraordinary severity of Sibat's sentence.
    "Saudi courts are sanctioning a literal witch hunt by the religious police," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
    "The crime of witchcraft is being used against all sorts of behavior, with the cruel threat of state sanctioned executions."
    Ali Sibat's supporters say he was denied a lawyer at his trial and was tricked into making a confession.
    He is not the only victim of Saudi Arabia's literal witch hunt. Human Rights Watch says two other people have been arrested on similar charges in the last month alone.
    It claims a lower court in Jeddah started the trial of a Saudi this month who was arrested by the religious police and said to have smuggled a book of witchcraft into the kingdom.
    In another case the religious police are said to have arrested for "sorcery" and "charlatanry" an Asian man accusing him of using supernatural powers to solve marital disputes and induce others to fall in love.
    In 2006 a Jeddah court convicted an Eritrean national Muhammad Burhan for "charlatanry" because he possessed a phone book that contained writings in the Tigrinya alphabet used in Eritrea.
    Human rights campaigners claim prosecutors classified the booklet as a "talisman" and the court accepted that as evidence, sentencing him to 20 months in prison and 300 lashes.
     
  2. Injinia

    Injinia JF-Expert Member

    #2
    Nov 25, 2009
    Joined: Feb 26, 2008
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    Makes you wonder what they will do to Tanzania's own Sheikh Yahya Hussein were he to go on hajj!!
     
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