Petition Closed
Petitioning Minister of Justice Mohammed Alesa and 3 others

Saudi Arabia -Stop beheading women in the name of " Witchcraft and Sorcery"

Saudi Arabia ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 2000, with reservations, stating, "In case of contradiction between any term of the Convention and the norms of Islamic law, the Kingdom is not under obligation to observe the contradictory terms of the Convention."  Based on Saudi Arabia's interpretation and implementation of Islamic law, this reservation acts to nullify some of CEDAW's articles. To date, the Saudi government has not filed any follow-up reports to CEDAW, nor has it taken any steps to bring its national laws into conformity with the universal standards on women's human rights.

The Interior Ministry informed that, Amina bint Abdul Halim bin Salem Nasser, a 60 year old  Saudi Women  was  beheaded d for " sorcery charges " on Dec 12th in the northern province of al-Jawf. It gave no further details of the charges against her.

The charges of 'witchcraft and sorcery' are not defined as crimes in Saudi Arabia and to use them to subject someone to the cruel and extreme penalty of execution is truly appalling. 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.

 

Letter to
Minister of Justice Mohammed Alesa
Special Rapporteur on violence against women Ms Rashida Manjoo
Head of State King Abdullah
and 1 other
Minister of culture and information Dr Abdulaziz Khoja
I just signed the following petition addressed to:Special Rapporteur on violence against women

Respected Madam/Sir

Saudi Arabia lacks a written penal code. Men and women are subject to arbitrary arrest and detention, and convicted persons are punished in accordance with Shari'a law as interpreted by individual judges. In the absence of a written penal code, judges may determine punishments arbitrarily for crimes both real and imaginary, a practice to which non-Saudis and marginal persons are particularly vulnerable.

Earlier this week , 60 year old Amina bint Abdulhalim Nassar, was beheaded in Saudi Arabia. She had been convicted of practicing "witchcraft and sorcery," according to the Saudi Interior Ministry. Such a crime is a capital offense in Saudi Arabia, and so Nassar was sentenced to death. Nassar's sentence was appealed — and upheld — by the Saudi Supreme Judicial Council.

The charges of 'witchcraft and sorcery' are not defined as crimes in Saudi Arabia and to use them to subject someone to the cruel and extreme penalty of execution is truly appalling. 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.

In April 2006 a Jordanian woman named Fawza Falih was sentenced to death for witchcraft. Sorcery, witchcraft, magic tricks and wearing amulets are forbidden practices that are discussed in Saudi public school textbooks, and are punishable crimes under Islamic law as interpreted by Saudi ulema.

Saudi Arabia has executed at least 79 people, including five women, this year, according to Amnesty International. This is triple the number of executions, compared to last year when 27 people were beheaded.

Saudi Arabia ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 2000, with reservations, stating, "In case of contradiction between any term of the Convention and the norms of Islamic law, the Kingdom is not under obligation to observe the contradictory terms of the Convention." Based on Saudi Arabia's interpretation and implementation of Islamic law, this reservation acts to nullify some of CEDAW's articles. To date, the Saudi government has not filed any follow-up reports to CEDAW, nor has it taken any steps to bring its national laws into conformity with the universal standards on women's human rights.

I demand
1. The Saudi government should review all laws and policies and amend the Basic Law to ensure gender equality and to prohibit the discrimination of women and foreign nationals.
2. The government should remove all reservations to CEDAW and take steps to implement it locally by bringing national laws in conformity with CEDAW.

Sincerely,