15 December 2015

Saudi conviction of poet for renouncing Islam seriously flawed, lawyer argues

A Saudi court that ordered the beheading of a Palestinian poet for renouncing Islam denied him a fair trial and ignored evidence that he suffered from a mental illness, according to an appeal against the ruling.

The appeal against the death sentence handed down last month to Ashraf Fayadh, a leading member of Saudi Arabia’s contemporary art scene, states that allegations that he publicly blasphemed and promoted atheism to young people were uncorroborated.

The document, filed this week by Abdulrahman al-Lahem, a human rights lawyer, contends that the case against Fayadh, 35, was seriously flawed. Lahem told the Guardian: “Fayadh’s life is not in danger … We are confident that the trial will be reversed and Fayadh will be freed based on the [legal] precedents in the kingdom.” [The Guardian] Read more