Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saudi King to use authority to reverts cross amputation sentences of 6 Saudis: Amnesty International

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (Dec. 17) – Six Saudi citizens facing ‘Cross amputation’ - elimination of their right hands and left feet – on account of “highway robbery” must have their sentences reverte by the King, Amnesty International said today.

Saudi King to use authority to reverts cross amputation sentences of 6 Saudis

The sentence of ‘Cross amputation’ is presently before the Supreme Court for endorsement and could take place in the coming days if also approved by the King.

The Amnesty International has urged the Saudi King to use his authority to immediately alter these sentences and save these men from awful punishment.

The six men, all from Bedouin tribes, were detained in October 2010 from Riyadh, on account of alleged “highway robbery” and shifted to Malaz prison. All were reportedly beaten and forced to admit to the allegations against them.

No lawyer or legal assistance was available for all of them when they were presented to General Court in Riyadh, which sentenced them ‘Cross amputation’ in March 2011. The sentence was upheld in October by an appellate court.

Punishment by amputation is enforced in Saudi Arabia for offences mainly limited to cases of “theft”, for which the sentence is amputation of the right hand, and “highway robbery”, which is punished by cross amputation (right hand and left foot).

The organization said that the use of “cross amputation” amounts to torture, violating Saudi Arabia's obligations under international human rights law.

“Carrying out a sentence like this would make a mockery of the fact that Saudi Arabia is a signatory to the international Convention against Torture” said Philip Luther.

“The Saudi Arabian authorities should take immediate steps to abolish this practice once and for all.”

The six men facing ‘Cross amputation’ are Barzan bin Raheel al-Shammari, aged 29, Amer bin Eid al-Jarba’, aged 26, Muhammad bin Ali al-Shammari, aged 25, Muhammad bin Dhiyab Maddhi, aged 27, Abdullah bin Dhiyab Maddhi, aged 30, and Bandar bin Abbas al-As’adi, aged 22.

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