Will the Saudi king commute the death penalty for sorcery???
He faces a tough question...
A Lebanese television psychic arrested and convicted of sorcery in Saudi Arabia apparently failed to foresee his own sentence to death by beheading, and now awaits the mercy of King Abdullah.
Amnesty International has issued an urgent request to the Saudi Arabian monarch to commute the death sentence of Ali Hussain Sibat and another man, both convicted for practicing black magic in the desert kingdom.
With the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan when there is a moratorium on executions, Saudi Arabia has resumed its practice of beheading those on death row. Amnesty International appealed to King Abdullah to show leniency for a crime which they say was nothing more than an exercise of the defendants’ right to freedom of expression.
Amnesty International was also trying to save the life of Abdul Hamid Bin Hussain Bin Moustafa Al-Fakki, a Sudanese national who was arrested in 2005 for taking money in return for casting a spell to compel a man to leave his second wife.
“Two men are at imminent risk of facing the ultimate cruel and inhuman punishment without having committed anything that would appear to constitute a crime,” Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a press release issued over the weekend.
Sibat, a Shiite father of five, had been a popular television presenter for Scheherazade, a Lebanese satellite TV station, where he predicted the future. In May 2008, he visited Saudi Arabia as a Muslim pilgrim and was arrested by the Mutawa’een (religious police). A Medina court sentenced him to death last year. In March, an appeals court upheld the verdict. His case is now in the hands of King Abdullah for final ratification.