Psychic Spared Death Sentence

November 14th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Good news. The Saudi Arabian Supreme Court has refused to ratify the death sentence of Lebanese psychic, Ali Sibat. He had been convicted of practicing witchcraft and sentenced to death last November.

Prior to his arrest, Sibat was a psychic talk-show host on Lebanese satellite TV. He took calls, told fortunes and gave advice. Though legal in Lebanon, such activities are illegal in Saudi Arabia. He never did a show from Saudi Arabia, but in 2008 he was arrested there while on a pilgrimage to the holy city of Medina.

This past Thursday, a three-judge panel ruled that the death sentence was inappropriate because there was no proof that others were harmed as a result of his actions. His case is to be retried in a Medina court and the judges recommended that the sentence be commuted and Sibat deported.

Malcolm Smart, director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa programme, said in a statement this week,

“The Supreme Court’s decision is a welcome step and may lead to Ali Hussain Sibat’s no longer facing the death penalty. However, we continue to urge that he be immediately released as he was convicted solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression.”

I agree. May Ali Sibat be returned home safe and soon.

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