Do you remember the movie 'The Flying Guillotine'? This movie scared the -ish out of me when I was a kid. And as deep as the ancient Egyptians that invented algebra, decapitation by guillotine was the usual means of execution in Germany until the abolition of the death penalty in West Germany in 1949. Now 'vas ist los' with that?
I heard that in England it was considered a privilege of noblemen to be beheaded. I don't necessarily connect with that at all either [pardon the pun]. Truly bad math. But seriously though...
The Saudi government says that beheading is still sanctioned by Islamic tradition. State-ordered beheadings are performed in courtyards outside crowded mosques in major cities after weekly Friday prayer services for crimes including murder, homosexuality, armed robbery and drug trafficking... and sorcery. Yeah. But there's more...
Amnesty International has expressed concerns over executions of foreign nationals in Saudi Arabia, and they continue to bring awareness to the high rate of foreign nationals that are beheaded each year. In 2009, the Saudi Arabian government executed, on average, more than two people a week. Almost half of them were foreign nationals from developing countries, including Nigeria. Some migrant workers are reported to have even been unaware that they had been sentenced to death until the very morning of their execution.
The process by which the death penalty is imposed and carried out is harsh, largely secretive and grossly unfair. Bottom line.
I won't delve deeper into all aspects of the social, legal, and political 'wronglynesses' going on here, but I am hopeful that as we [Government leaders] sit at the table with the Saudi leaders, we can address our concern over the legal process, but also the high proportion of foreigners being executed. I hope that we can encourage the Saudi government to give these defendants fair legal representation, a translator, and ethical due diligence.
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Ali Hussain Sibat is scheduled to be beheaded Friday. Seriously. Saudi Arabia's religious police, known as the 'Mutawa'een' arrested Sibat and charged him with sorcery while visiting the country in May 2008.Re: // CNN //Wikipedia //
Sibat is the former host of a popular call-in show that aired on Beirut-based satellite TV channel "Sheherazade." According to his lawyer, Sibat would predict the future on his show and give out advice to his audience.
El Khansa told CNN her client was arrested by Saudi Arabia's religious police (known as the Mutawa'een) and charged with sorcery while visiting the country in May 2008. Sibat was in Saudi Arabia to perform the Islamic religious pilgrimage known as Umra.
Sibat was then put on trial, and in November 2009, a court in the Saudi city of Medina found him guilty and sentenced him to death.
According to El Khansa, Sibat appealed the verdict. The case was taken up by the Court of Appeal in the Saudi city of Mecca on the grounds that the initial verdict was "premature."
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"Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere" - MLK
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