Target: King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, King and Prime Minster of Saudi Arabia
Goal: Stop the imminent execution of a man whose trial did not meet international fair trial standards
In 2004, Mabruk bin Ali al-Sai’ari was found guilty of murder and sentenced to four years in prison with 3,500 lashes. Just before he was due to be released, he was sent back to trial, re-convicted of the same crime, and sentenced to death. However, al-Sai’ari has maintained his innocence, even under torture. Sign the petition demanding justice for Mabruk bin Ali al-Sai’ari, and tell the Saudi authorities to launch a full and impartial investigation into the torture he has suffered.
Mabruk bin Ali al-Sai’ari’s second trial came about after the victim’s family requested that he and the other defendant, Said bin Aoun bin Abdullah al-Sai’ari, “be sentenced to death under Shari’a principles of qisas (‘retribution in kind’),” Amnesty International reports. Although the General Court in Najran denied the qisas, it did condemn both men to death for armed robbery. (In the first trial, the armed robbery aspect of the crime, which would have made the sentence a capital one, was not pursued.) The Supreme Court upheld the ruling but it was never carried out, as the President of the Regional Courts objected on the grounds that Saudi law prevents a sentence from being changed after the Supreme Court has ruled on it. The resulting review ordered that the men be tried a third time.
In the third trial, charges against Said bin Aoun bin Abdullah al-Sai’ari were dropped due to lack of evidence, although he remains in jail. Mabruk bin Ali al-Sai’ari, however, was found guilty under qisas and sentenced to death. The evidence that was deemed sufficient to convict him? Four of the victims relatives swore under oath that Mabruk al-Sai’ari was the killer, although none of them were witnesses to the crime.
Furthermore, Mabruk bin Ali al-Sai’ari did not have access to a lawyer at any point during pre-trial or his three separate trials. Despite his lack of legal counsel, he maintained his innocence, even after being tortured by means of beatings and electrocution.
Saudi Arabia is one of the deadliest countries in the world in terms of capital punishment, with seventy people being executed so far this year. Capital offenses range from kidnapping and rape to adultery and apostasy (abandonment of religion). The legal system is clearly beset with problems, and Mabruk bin Ali al-Sai’ari has found himself in a quagmire with no way out.
Everyone, no matter what their crime, has the right to a fair trial and freedom from torture. Sign the petition and demand that Saudi authorities take yet another look at Mabruk bin Ali al-Sai’ari’s case–only this time with integrity and justice for all.
The judicial system should be predicated on the concept of justice for all. In this sense, the Saudi judicial system has certainly failed Mabruk bin Ali al-Sai’ari, who has been tried for the same crime three times and sentenced to death. Despite being denied access to a lawyer and tortured during his imprisonment, Mabruk bin Ali al-Sai’ari still maintains his innocence and refuses to confess to the crime of which he is accused. I demand that he be given a fair and impartial hearing and that a full investigation be launched into the alleged torture he has suffered.
Mabruk bin Ali al-Sai’ari has never confessed to the crime of which he is accused, despite the fact that he has been denied legal counsel ever since his arrest and has been subjected to beatings and electrocution. His case speaks to the gaping holes in Saudi Arabia’s legal system and casts serious doubts on whether or not he actually committed the crime that has sealed his fate.
It is not too late to pursue justice–true justice–for both Mabruk bin Ali al-Sai’ari and his alleged victim. Reopen Mabruk bin Ali al-Sai’ari’s case, and this time take a fair, unbiased, and factually-based approach. Investigate all instances of torture against Mabruk bin Ali al-Sai’ari, and ensure that while he remains in custody he is humanely treated and has access to his family and legal representation.
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Photo credit: Tony Hudson via Wikimedia Commons