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SAUDI ARABIA 'SORCERY' DEATH SENTENCE UPHELD

March 18, 2010: Amnesty International has called on the King of Saudi Arabia to halt the execution of a Lebanese national, whose death sentence for charges relating to "sorcery" was upheld by a court last week.
If the higher courts reject his appeal, 'Ali Hussain Sibat, a former television presenter for a Lebanese satellite TV station, who gave advice and predictions about the future, could be executed at any time.
'Ali Hussain Sibat was arrested by the Mutawa'een (religious police) on charges of "sorcery" in May 2008 while he was in Saudi Arabia to perform a form of Muslim pilgrimage, the 'umra.
His lawyer in Lebanon believes that 'Ali Hussain Sibat was arrested because members of the Mutawa'een had recognized him from the show, which was broadcast on the Sheherazade TV station.
After he was arrested, 'Ali Hussain Sibat's interrogators told him to write down what he did for a living, reassuring him that, if he did so, he would be allowed to go home after a few weeks.
This document was presented in court as a "confession" and used to convict him.
He was sentenced to death by a court in Madina on 9 November 2009 after secret court hearings where he had no legal representation or assistance.
In January 2010, the Court of Appeal in Makkah accepted an appeal against 'Ali Hussain Sibat's death sentence, on grounds that it was a premature verdict.
The Court of Appeal said that all allegations made against 'Ali Hussain Sibat had to be verified, and that if he had really committed the crime he should be asked to repent.
But on March 10, a court in Madina upheld the death sentence. The judges said that he deserved to be sentenced to death because he had practised “sorcery” publicly for several years before millions of viewers and that his actions “made him an infidel”.
The court said also that there would be no way to verify that his repentance, if he should repent, would be sincere and that imposing the death sentence would deter other people from engaging in “sorcery” at a time when, the court said, there is an increase in the number of “foreign magicians” entering Saudi Arabia.
The case has been sent back to the Court of Appeal in Makkah for approval of the death sentence. (Sources: Amnesty International, 18/03/2010)

RUSSIA: UPPER HOUSE SPEAKER DOESN’T SUPPORT DEATH PENALTY FOR TERRORISTS
MALAYSIA: MAN GETS DEATH FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
HARYANA (INDIA): 5 GET DEATH SENTENCE FOR MURDER
JAPAN: MURDER- TOWARDS ABOLITION FOR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
JAPAN: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR DOG-REVENGE MURDERS
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: BELARUS EXECUTIONS UNDERLINE THE NEED FOR MORE EU ACTION
UAE: DEATH PENALTY FOR 17 INDIANS IN UAE
AMNESTY: 714 EXECUTIONS IN 2009, EXCLUDING CHINA
GAZA: HAMAS TO EXECUTE SEVERAL 'AGENTS OF ISRAEL' SOON
VIETNAM: DRUG RING GETS 5 DEATH PENALTIES
BOTSWANA: MODISE FLY EXECUTED
CHINA: TWO EXECUTED IN KIDNAPPING CRACKDOWN
HOC: VASILY YZEPCHUK’S EXECUTION IN BELARUS SHOWS ITALIAN GOVERNMENT IS INCONSISTENT IN PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS
TAIWAN: TRIO SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER SLAYING OF TEACHER
BAHRAIN: DEATH SENTENCE FOR MURDER
COUNCIL OF EUROPE DENOUNCES EXECUTIONS IN BELARUS
GRYZLOV: TERRORISM PREVENTS RUSSIA FROM BANNING THE DEATH PENALTY
IRAN: AFGHANI MINOR ON DEATH ROW
BELARUS CARRIES OUT TWO EXECUTIONS
TAIWAN: NEW JUSTICE MINISTER ORDERS DEATH ROW REVIEW
INDIA: ANTI-HIJACKING LAW GETS TOUGHER, DEATH SENTENCE INCLUDED AS PUNISHMENT
VIRGINIA (USA): INMATE EXECUTED BY ELECTROCUTION
EGYPT: 4 SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER KILLING BOY
SUDAN. TWO EXECUTIONS
SOUTH KOREA: ASSEMBLY SPEAKER CALLS FOR ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY
IRAN: ANOTHER ASHURA DAY PROTESTER RECEIVES THE DEATH SENTENCE
OHIO EXECUTES INMATE WHO KILLED NEIGHBOR IN 1994
IRAN: PROTESTORS SENTENCED TO DEATH
SAUDI ARABIA: DEATH ROW MAID IN A FIGHT FOR HER LIFE
NORTH KOREA: OFFICIALS EXECUTED OVER CURRENCY BUNGLE

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IRAN. HANDS OFF CAIN, REDUCTION OF DRUG EXECUTIONS BUT NUMBERS REMAIN WORRISOME
  HUMAN RIGHTS: DEMONSTRATION OF THE RADICAL PARTY BEFORE IRANIAN EMBASSY 14 FEBRUARY  
  BELARUS EXECUTES TWO CONVICTED MURDERERS  
  MALAYSIA: GOVT HALTS EXECUTION OF 1,200 DEATH ROW INMATES  
  JAPAN HANGS CULT LEADER SHOKO ASAHARA, 6 OTHERS FOR 1995 TOKYO SUBWAY SARIN ATTACK  
  SOMALIA - DEATH PENALTY AND TERRORISM  
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