Amnesty: Saudi 'sorcery' beheading shocking

2011-12-13 12:46

Dubai - Rights group Amnesty International has described as "deeply shocking" Saudi Arabia's beheading of a woman convicted on charges of "sorcery and witchcraft", saying it underlined the urgent need to end executions in the kingdom.

Saudi national Amina bint Abdul Halim bin Salem Nasser was executed on Monday in the northern province of al-Jawf after being tried and convicted for practising sorcery, the interior ministry said, without giving details of the charges.

"The citizen... practised acts of witchcraft and sorcery," Saudi newspaper al-Watan cited the interior ministry as saying. "The death sentence was carried out on the accused yesterday (Monday) in the Qurayyat district in al-Jawf region."

Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy, has no written criminal code, which is instead based on an uncodified form of Islamic sharia law as interpreted by the country's judges.

"While we don't know the details of the acts which the authorities accused Amina of committing, the charge of sorcery has often been used in Saudi Arabia to punish people, generally after unfair trials, for exercising their right to freedom of speech or religion," Philip Luther, interim director of Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa programme, said in a statement.

Amnesty said the execution was the second of its kind in recent months. A Sudanese national was beheaded in the Saudi city of Medina in September after being convicted on sorcery charges, according to the London-based group.

Amnesty put at 79 the number of executions in Saudi Arabia so far this year, nearly triple the figure in 2010.

  • JudithNkwe - 2011-12-13 13:35

    Why Oh Why Oh Why is this country so backward? So anti women and so repressive?

      Cyrus - 2011-12-13 14:14

      Dont think it was a women thing. Im pretty sure if it was a man the same would have happened. Not saying its right or wrong just saying this particular act was not based on sex

  • MissGremlin - 2011-12-13 13:38

    Another extremist husband looking for a quickie divorce? Did anyone watch "the stoning of Soria"?

  • Shamier - 2011-12-13 13:48

    Does that make her a Salem witch?

  • wesleywt - 2011-12-13 13:51

    I thought religious societies are moral and good. This blows the anti-atheist arguments out of the water.

      Kaizer - 2011-12-13 14:30

      anti atheist? - inbreed much?

  • ludlowdj - 2011-12-13 13:52

    Not so strange really, one just has to look at our local newspaper to see people getting stoned to death and burnt alive in the townships for alleged witchcraft etc, hell the high profile Lotter case couldn't even escape the specter of possession of white girls and boys, the unknown second son of god or the terror of attacks by a sex mad tokolosh raping anyone stupid enough not to have their bed on bricks. Its a sick world full of even sicker people.

      Mally Gee - 2014-12-22 09:33

      Yes, what about the farmers being butchered too!

  • Joey - 2011-12-13 14:29

    I agree executing her was extreme. But you have to ask yourself the question as to why the crime in Saudi Arabia is zero and in RSA, we are known as the murder and rape capital of the world ??

      Loki.god.of.awesome - 2011-12-13 14:53

      If "the crime in Saudi Arabia is zero" then why have 79 people been executed this year? Just for a laugh?

      jowza1 - 2011-12-13 14:56

      what are you comparing it with we had excutions in this country it would be 79 a week

      Loki.god.of.awesome - 2011-12-13 15:01

      Not really comparing it with anything, but saying the crime rate is zero is obviously incorrect. Obviously the crime rate is better there than here, but that doesn't make Joey's statement correct. Also, while our legal system is far from perfect, at least it does not waste time trying to deal with 'sorcery' and other such foolishness. Imagine facing a death sentence simply for praying to a different God than the majority...

  • Emile - 2011-12-13 14:33

    she summoned a beacon familiar maybe.....Witchcraft bah

      Ameerasmaku Octavious - 2015-02-08 16:26

      @emile.l.roux.5 maybe she summoned the genie of the lamp..or maybe the flying carpet..

  • Zion - 2011-12-13 16:20

    Looks like heads and beheading are in short supply in the Middle East.

  • Mark - 2011-12-13 16:56

    My ex wife had better not go to Egypt because she's a proper witch.

      Ameerasmaku Octavious - 2015-02-08 16:25

      @Mark it a sarcastic comment or a literal one but that was funny..

  • toibry - 2011-12-13 22:04

    His words will bring everyone to awed attention.......

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