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Witchcraft and the Death Penalty in Saudi Arabia

By Leo Igwe

Recently, a Sri Lankan woman was arrested by Saudi authorities for witchcraft. A man accused this woman of casting a spell on a 13 year old girl during a family shopping trip. He complained to the police that the girl ‘started acting in an abnormal way’ after a close contact with the woman in a shopping mall in the port city of Jeddah. According to news reports, the accused woman is currently in police custody in Saudi Arabia. If pressure is not brought on Saudi authorities to spare the life of this ‘innocent’ woman, she may be executed by beheading any moment from now.

In Saudi Arabia, witchcraft is a crime punishable by death. Last year, Saudi authorities beheaded two people, a Sudanese man and a Saudi woman, for practicing witchcraft. It is not clear how the judicial system in the country defines the crime of witchcraft or justifies it as a harmful practice punishable by death. It is difficult to understand how Saudi courts try and convict people for witchcraft offense.

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2 comments to Witchcraft and the Death Penalty in Saudi Arabia

  • avatar Levi2251

    Not trying to sound cruel, but if she did put a spell on someone, in any way, she deserves some form of karmic punishment. But in the other hand, they should define what aspects of witchcraft are legal and illegal. Hopefully, she does not get beheaded and is at maximum, put in jail.

  • avatar Ladyhawke4

    Define ‘close’ contact’. There was a time when all someone had to say was the words and the other party was assumed guilty right off; hence the ‘witch hunts’. Oh, wait, that’s here and now.
    You don’t get it, Levi2251. Witchcraft, ALL witchcraft is punishable by death. There are no degrees of witchcraft; it’s and either or.
    It’s their country and their rules and whether we like the rules or not, the country doesn’t have to answer to us.
    What if someone pointed a finger at you…