Palestinian poet in Saudi gets death for apostasy

RIYADH: A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a Palestinian poet to death for apostasy, abandoning his Muslim faith, according to trial documents seen by Human Rights Watch, its West Asia researcher Adam Coogle said.

 Ashraf Fayadh was detained by the country’s religious police in 2013 in Abha, in southwest Saudi Arabia, 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 appeal another judge passed a death sentence on Fayadh three days ago, said Coogle. Fayadh’s conviction was based on evidence from a witness who claimed to have heard him cursing Allah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Saudi Arabia, and on the contents of one of his poetry books.

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