Monday, September 11, 2017


Amnesty International, USA, September 11, 2017

On 7 September, the family of Said Mabkhout al-Sai’ari learned that the execution of the 29-year-old is scheduled to take place on 13 September in the General prison of Najran, southwest of Saudi Arabia, where he is currently detained. He has been at risk of imminent execution since 2 July 2017; but on 7 September prison officials informed the family about the scheduled execution date.
Said al-Sai’ari was sentenced to death on 25 December 2013 by the General Court in Najran, for the murder of another Saudi Arabian man during a fight that broke out between members of two tribes on 2 July 2009. His death sentence was ratified by the Supreme Court on 20 March 2016 and ratified by King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud in August 2016. It was then sent back from the Ministry of Interior to the Najran Governorate for implementation in mid-November 2016. His execution was postponed for six months after his relatives exerted pressure to delay it.
Said al-Sai’ari has always maintained his innocence and according to the 86-page court document, the General Court in Najran sentenced him to death despite concluding that there was not enough evidence to convict him. 

The court relied on the statements of the victim’s father who, despite not being present at the crime scene, swore 50 times in court that he believed that Said al-Sai’ari was responsible for the murder of his son. The procedure follows a Shari’a law provision that allows a court to rely on the male heirs of the victim expressing at least 50 times under oath their belief that the accused is the perpetrator. Said al-Sai’ari did not have access to a lawyer throughout the pre-trial investigation. Following his detention on 2 July 2009, he remained in solitary confinement for at least a month and was only allowed his first contact with his family four months later.