We have found a witch, may we burn her?
February 15, 2008
Firstly, apologies for the gratuitous Monty python quote.
Secondly, Saudi Arabia is planning to execute a woman convicted of being a witch. WTF?
Human Rights Watch has appealed to Saudi Arabia to halt the execution of a woman convicted of witchcraft.
In a letter to King Abdullah, the rights group described the trial and conviction of Fawza Falih as a miscarriage of justice.
The illiterate woman was detained by religious police in 2005 and allegedly beaten and forced to fingerprint a confession that she could not read.
Among her accusers was a man who alleged she made him impotent.
So not only does it look like she was fit up, but the crime is witchcraft. Doesn’t anybody else see a problem with that?
Just how do you prove someone is a witch? Warts? Pointy nose? Weighs less than a duck?
The US-based group is asking the Saudi ruler to void Ms Falih’s conviction and to bring charges against the religious police who detained her and are alleged to have mistreated her.
Its letter to King Abdullah says the woman was tried for the undefined crime of witchcraft and that her conviction was on the basis of the written statements of witnesses who said that she had bewitched them.
Ah, good old anecdotal evidence. Nice. It’s a bit like getting sentenced to death because that crazy old man with the cat next door has accused you of being a Smurf. Stupid Gargamel.
Human Rights Watch says the trial failed to meet the safeguards in the Saudi justice system.
The confession which the defendant was forced to fingerprint was not even read out to her, the group says.
So absolute miscarriage of justice. And the crime is witchcraft. (Sorry, I’m having a bit of trouble getting past that one).
Also Ms Falih and her representatives were not allowed to attend most of the hearings.
Sure. Relatively speaking it’s no less insane than putting her in jail for being a witch. She might have made them all impotent like the other guy. Or maybe defend herself or something.
When an appeal court decided she should not be executed, the law courts imposed the death sentence again, arguing that it would be in the public interest.
You can’t see this, but I’m trying very hard to muffle hysterical disbelieving laughter. The law courts reimposed the death sentence, to protect the public from the dangerous illiterate Impotence Witch.