SAUDI ARABIA: TURKISH BARBER SPARED BEHEADING
November 18, 2008: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia rescinded the death penalty against a Turkish barber convicted of "cursing" the name of
Sabri Bogday, who cuts hair in the port of Jidda, was sentenced to beheading for swearing during an argument with his neighbor, a
Turkish President Abdullah Gul had asked the king to set aside the verdict.
After Bogday's arrest, the Arab News in Saudi Arabia quoted a lawyer who described how the court viewed using God's name in vain:
"Some judges consider it heresy and infidelity, and say that the accused cannot repent and so faces the death penalty. Others consider the statement to
be disbelief, thus allow the accused to retract what he has said and repent and
then set him free. ... Sentences in these cases are limited and considered rare, because the judgment is not based on something that is written." (Sources: Los Angeles Times, 18/11/2008)