A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a Palestinian poet to death for renouncing his religious faith, according to documents seen by Human Rights Watch.
Ashraf Fayadh was handed the sentence on Tuesday on charges of “doubting the existence of God,” according to court documents seen by the group’s Saudi Arabia researcher, Adam Coogle.
Fayadh, who was born to Palestinian parents but grew up in the Gulf kingdom, was arrested by religious police in late 2013 after a reader complained that one of his books, his 2008 poetry collection Inner Teachings, could encourage people to renounce Islam.
Fayadh, now 50, was released after a day due to lack of evidence, but was rearrested in January 2014 in the southwestern city of Abha.
The poet was arrested in a coffee shop after watching a game of football, and was threatened with being deported to Gaza, his father told France24 at the time.
Fayadh was initially sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes, but an appeal judge this week increased the sentence, handing down the death penalty.
Remember this is a Muslim country with whom WE have a special relationship.
In fact our former President seemed to have a crush on their former leader King Abdullah.
The country has money to burn, and they send their children to some of the best schools in the world, and yet they STILL consider it reasonable to murder a man for using his critical thinking skills.
If America were really a place that respected freedom above all else, it would immediately cut ties with his back water country and tell them not to give them a call until they managed to drag themselves into the 21st century.
Is now a good time to remind everybody that fifteen of the nineteen 9-11 hijackers were Saudi nationalists?