Palestinian Poet Sentenced to Death by Saudi Court Over Apostasy
A Palestinian poet has been sentenced to death for apostasy, abandoning his Muslim faith, by a Saudi Arabian court.
The poet, Ashraf Fayadh, was detained by Saudi Arabia’s religious police in 2013 in Abha, in the southwest region, and then rearrested and tried in early 2014. The verdict of that court sentenced him to four years in prison and 800 lashes but after an appeal, another judge passed a death sentence on Fayadh.
The poet’s conviction was concluded on evidence gained from a prosecution witness who claimed to have heard him cursing God, Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and Saudi Arabia.
The case was first sent to the Saudi appeals court and was then sent back to the lower court, where a different judge increased the sentence to death on November 17.