Ohal Grietzer on Fri, 22 Feb 2008 08:42:24 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> woman to be executed for witchcraft

Fawza Falih has been sentenced to death by a Saudi Court for
the charge of "witchcraft". The sentence was reversed on an appeal
and than reinstated by the highest court in Saudi Arabia, now only
the King of Saudi Arabia can grant clemency. Last year the US approved
a multi-billion dollar aid package to the Saudi Kingdom.

A few phone calls to the Saudi Embassy or to US Congress people could
apply enough pressure on the King to grant clemency and save this woman's
life. Here are a few suggestions. (You can always call after hours and
leave a message or several messages.) There is a BBC article about the case
and a link to the Human Rights Watch page below. Please forward this

Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia

     601 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
     Washington, DC 20037

     (202) 342-3800

     Information Office:

    (202) 337-4076
    (202) 337-4134

U.S. Senate
     Committee on Foreign Relations
     Dirksen Senate Office Building

     Washington, DC 20510-6225

     Majority Phone: (202)224-4651

     Minority Phone: (202) 224-6797

Senator Joe Biden (Chairman)

     201 Russell Senate Office Building
     Washington, D.C. 20510
     Phone: 202-224-5042
     Fax: 202-224-0139

Barbra Boxer(member SFRC)

     112 Hart Senate Office Building
     Washington, D.C. 20510
     (202) 224-3553New York:

HRH King Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud

Royal Court

Riyadh 11111

Saudi Arabia


Letter from Human Rights Watch:


Human Rights Watch has appealed to Saudi Arabia to halt the execution of a
woman convicted of witchcraft.

In a letter to King Abdullah, the rights group described the trial and
conviction of Fawza Falih as a miscarriage of justice.

The illiterate woman was detained by religious police in
2005 and allegedly beaten and forced to fingerprint a confession that
she could not read.

Among her accusers was a man who alleged she made him impotent.

Human Rights Watch said that Ms Falih had exhausted all
her chances of appealing against her death sentence and she could only
now be saved if King Abdullah intervened.

'Undefined' crime

The US-based group is asking the Saudi ruler to void Ms
Falih's conviction and to bring charges against the religious police
who detained her and are alleged to have mistreated her.

Its letter to King Abdullah says the woman was tried for
the undefined crime of witchcraft and that her conviction was on the
basis of the written statements of witnesses who said that she had
bewitched them.

Human Rights Watch says the trial failed to meet the safeguards in the
Saudi justice system.

The confession which the defendant was forced to fingerprint was not even
read out to her, the group says.

Also Ms Falih and her representatives were not allowed to attend most of
the hearings.

When an appeal court decided she should not be executed,
the law courts imposed the death sentence again, arguing that it would
be in the public interest.

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