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Saudi Arabia: Halt Woman’s Execution for “Witchcraft”

No, this isn’t a joke.

It is an appeal we can all support by Human Rights Watch, which adds (in a sentence worthy of the best of British understatement) that “Fawza Falih’s case reveals deep flaws in the Saudi justice system.”

(New York, February 14, 2008) – King Abdullah should halt the execution of Fawza Falih and void her conviction for “witchcraft,” Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the Saudi king.
“The fact that Saudi judges still conduct trials for unprovable crimes like ‘witchcraft’ underscores their inability to carry out objective criminal investigations. Fawza Falih’s case is an example of how the authorities failed to comply even with existing safeguards in the Saudi justice system.”
… The judges relied on Fawza Falih’s coerced confession and on the statements of witnesses who said she had “bewitched” them to convict her… Her interrogators beat her during her 35 days in detention at the hands of the religious police. At one point, she had to be hospitalized as a result of the beatings.

You can read the letter from Human Rights Watch to King Abdullah, here.
Additional Times of London coverage here.

Tom GrossTom Gross is a former Middle East correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and the New York Daily News.

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