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Fw: [News] Saudi Arabia: Beheadings for âwitchcraftâ

Apr 20, 2012 09:23 AM
by John W

--- On Sat, 21/4/12, <> wrote:
From: <>
Subject: Fw: [News] Saudi Arabia: Beheadings for âwitchcraftâ
Date: Saturday, 21, April, 2012, 4:11 AM

The moral of this story is: if you are at all interested in the occult or astrology, never visit countries ljke Saudi Arabia, unless you can travel on a diplomatic passport with diplomatic immunity, even if you are an engineer who is offered a lucrative tax-free oil-industry or construction-related job there.

John W.



      Saudi Arabia: Beheadings for âwitchcraftâ

A Sri Lankan woman is currently facing decapitation by sword on a 

witchcraft charge in Saudi Arabia, in accordance with Wahhabism, a 

strict form of Sunni Islam. The UN reports executions tripled in the 

kingdom in 2011.

A Saudi man complained that in a shopping mall his 13-year-old daughter 

âsuddenly started acting in an abnormal way, which happened after she 

came close to the Sri Lankan woman,â reports the daily Okaz.

After the local man denounced the Sri Lankan for casting a spell on his 

daughter, police in the port city of Jeddah found it sufficient cause 

to arrest the woman.

Witchcraft and sorcery imply only one measure in Saudi Arabia â 

beheading. And it works this way in practice: last year in the kingdom 

at least two people â a woman in her 60s and a Sudanese man â were 

beheaded on witchcraft charges.

In the absolute monarchy that Saudi Arabia is, a criminal code does not 

exist per se. Court sentences are based on Islamic Sharia law on the 

interpretation of judges.

No sticking your neck out under Sharia law

Capital punishment is applied regularly and indiscriminately to locals 

and foreign citizens.

According to Sharia law, crimes that imply capital punishment are 

numerous. It could be anything from murder and terrorism to apostasy, 

idolatry and blasphemy.

Still, Sharia law leaves a loophole for those who have money. In the 

case of murder, the âeye for an eyeâ principle of Islamic law allows 

capital punishment to be replaced with Diyya (âBlood moneyâ) ransom 

paid by the family of the killer â if the bereaved family agrees..

In oil-rich Saudi Arabia, the number of wealthy citizens is off the 

chart and the sum of Diyya could reach millions of dollars. But for 

those millions of guest workers who do most of the work in Saudi 

Arabia, this is definitely not an option. In case they are found guilty 

of a capital crime, execution by beheading is the only option left to 

them under Sharia law.

The beheading of Indonesian national Ruyati binti Sapubi in 2011 

sparked a widely-discussed scandal. The 54-year-old woman, who worked 

as a maid, was sentenced to death after she confessed of murdering her 

employer with a kitchen knife after suffering abuse.

With about 1.5 million Indonesians working in Saudi Arabia, many of 

them as maids, the ruling caused an outcry in Indonesia, which even 

considered banning its women from working in the kingdom. After the 

Saudi Arabian ambassador officially apologized for the incident, the 

initiative was left in oblivion.

The cases of mistreatment of maids, who came in waves to Saudi Arabia 

in the recent past, received a different attitude of national justice. 

In April 2011, a Saudi woman convicted of torturing her Indonesian maid 

successfully had her conviction quashed on appeal.

In January 2012 the United Nations human rights office expressed 

concern with increased number of executions in Saudi Arabia. Compared 

to 2010 when 26 people got capital punishment rulings for various 

crimes, in 2011 there have been 76 executions in the kingdom.

Among the beheaded were at least three women and 11 foreigners.


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