Thursday, December 22, 2011

Anti-Witchcraft Squad Proves Deadly Again

Back in September I covered the story of a Sudanese man who was executed in Saudi Arabia after being convicted of practicing sorcery. The man's arrest and conviction were due to the efforts of Saudi Arabia's "anti-witchcraft squad" known as the Mutawa'een. Now this oppressive organization has proved deadly once more, with the execution earlier this month of a woman arrested in 2009 on similar charges.

The London-based newspaper, al-Hayat, quoted a member of the religious police as saying that she was in her 60s and had tricked people into giving her money, claiming that she could cure their illnesses. Our correspondent said she was arrested in April 2009.

But the human rights group Amnesty International, which has campaigned for Saudis previously sentenced to death on sorcery charges, said it had never heard of her case until now, he adds.

A Sudanese man was executed in September on similar charges, despite calls led by Amnesty for his release. In 2007, an Egyptian national was beheaded for allegedly casting spells to try to separate a married couple.

What continues to strike me as both tragic and ridiculous about cases like these is that even if these executed individuals were frauds, elevating their actions to capital offenses is practically the definition of "cruel and unusual punishment" that the Founding Fathers sought to ban in the United States Bill of Rights all the way back in 1789. Despite worldwide outrage from organizations like Amnesty International the Saudi anti-witchcraft squad shows no signs of easing up their investigations, which is bad news for anyone seeking to practice esoteric spirituality within their jurisdiction.

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3 comments:

Rufus Opus said...

Target locked.

Now, witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station.

Ananael Qaa said...

"Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Brother Opus..." ;-)

Rufus Opus said...

That's "PANSY ASS sorcerous ways."

:D

Sometimes I wonder if her magics helped changed my mind about OWS. Wouldn't surprise me.