As a result of the set execution of a woman convicted of practicing witchcraft, the Human Rights Watch had sent an appeal to the Saudi government. Their letter that was sent to King Abdullah, the ruler of Saudi Arabia, said that both the trial and conviction of Fawza Falih was an injustice.
Fawza Falih had been imprisoned since 2005 when she was arrested by religious police. Falih is illiterate. It is alleged when they found that she could not read, Falih was beaten and forced to put her fingerprint as a means of signing a confession.
One of her accusers was a man who said she put a curse on him. He said that Falih was responsible for making him impotent.
So far, Falih’s chances have all been exhausted. It is explained by the HRW that her final chance of appealing the death sentence is by an intervention by King Abdullah, himself. The group in the letter asked the king to nullify Falih’s conviction and have all charges dropped against her and have to have charges pressed upon the religious police.
The letter explains that Falih was tried for a crime which was not identified. All it said was that it was a crime of witchcraft with no further details. It also adds that all written statements against Falih were from witnesses that accused her of putting a curse or spell on them.
It adds that this trial did not meet the standards and safeguards of the current justice system of Saudi Arabia. During most of the hearings, they were kept behind closed doors where neither Falih nor her representatives were allowed to actually attend them.
Recently, the appeals courts had ruled that Falih could not be executed. However, the court of law gave the argument that it would be in the best interest of the public if Falih was beheaded and then imposed the death sentence once again.
If Falih is executed, it will be the third execution to take place in the country in 2008. Around mid-January, an Indonesian maid was executed in the same method. She was charged and convicted of murdering her female boss.
Beheadings are usually reserved for the most serious of crimes such as rape and murder.