03 February 2016

Saudi Arabian court overturns Ashraf Fayadh's death sentence but upholds conviction

A Saudi Arabian court has overturned the death penalty for Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh, but upheld his guilty verdict on a charge of apostasy.

The court, instead, sentenced Fayadh to eight years in prison and 800 lashes, a statement from his lawyer said.

Fayadh was initially sentenced to death by a court in the southwestern Saudi city of Abha in November on a series of blasphemy charges related to his poetry, causing an international outcry.

Fayadh will be lashed 800 times over 16 sessions, serve eight years in prison and must publicly declare his repentance in the media, said his lawyer Abdulrahman al-Lahim.

Al-Lahim said the defense planned to appeal the court's decision, saying Fayadh is innocent and should be freed. [CNN] Read more