The Saudi Arabian government says that it will arrest anyone who says that the police and government of the nation are worse than or similar to ISIS.
The government of the wealthy Arab nation additionally says that it will sue any Twitter user that dares to compare the country’s decision to sentence a Palestinian poet to death to the punishment handed down by so-called Islamic State.
That poet, Ashraf Fayadh, was recently given a death sentence for allegedly renouncing his faith.
The Saudi Arabian court’s decision was condemned internationally by human rights organizations. That led to Twitter users taking to the social media platform to compare the Saudi government to the so-called Islamic State.
“The Justice Ministry will sue the person who described … the sentencing of a man to death for apostasy as being `ISIS-like’,” Al-Riyadh newspaper said, in quoting a source in the Justice Ministry, that was cited by Reuters.
So far, the Twitter user in question not been identified.
“Questioning the fairness of the courts is to question the justice of the Kingdom and its judicial system based on Islamic law, which guarantees rights and ensures human dignity,” Al-Riyadh said, quoting the Justice Ministry source.
That ministry they would not hesitate to arrest and bring before the courts “any media that slandered the religious judiciary of the Kingdom.”
— Amnesty UK (@AmnestyUK) November 28, 2015
Back in 2013 poet Ashraf Fayadh was detained in Abha, Saudi Arabia, because of allegations that he “cursed God”, the Prophet Muhammed and Saudi Arabia. This resulted in a death penalty handed down by a Saudi court.
— Mr Lee Jasper (@LeeJasper) November 28, 2015
Human Rights Watch’s Middle East researcher Adam Coogle says that Fayadh, a Palestinian national, was charged with “apostasy.”
“I have read the trial documents from the lower court verdict in 2014 and another one from 17 November. It is very clear he has been sentenced to death for apostasy,” Reuters cited Coogle stating.
RT writes that “the main reason the initial ruling of four years in prison and 800 lashes has been replaced with the death sentence is that Saudi judges are empowered to impose sentences according to their own interpretation of Sharia law. In Fayadh’s case, a second judge ruled the defense witness testimony was ineligible and he only considered the prosecution witness’s testimony.”
Saudi Arabia, please sue me.I will be in Leb next week for extradition. "Saudi Arabia to sue anyone who compares their justice syst to Isis"
— NassimNicholasTaleb (@nntaleb) November 26, 2015
“The Kingdom has executed over 150 people this year and is on track to break its all-time annual record of 192 achieved in 1995,” RT continued, citing documentation by Amnesty International.
— RT (@RT_com) November 27, 2015
Just last Friday, Saudi Arabia announced an additional execution of 55 people in the near future.
Reuters cited the Saudi Okaz newspaper as saying these 55 people are accused of sedition, attacks on security officials, and attempts to overthrow the government, and carry out attacks by using explosives and surface-to-air missiles. Those on death row have killed more than 100 civilians and 71 security personnel, according to Okaz.
“Saudi Arabia’s macabre spike in executions this year, coupled with the secretive and arbitrary nature of court decisions and executions in the kingdom, leave us no option but to take these latest warning signs very seriously,” James Lynch, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International said.
(Article by M. David and Reagan Ali; image and h/t to The Free Thought Project)