Document - Saudi Arabia: Further information on Fear of amputation /Torture and other ill-treatment












PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 23/025/2008

01 July 2008


Further Information on UA 84/08 (MDE 23/017/2008, 02 April 2008) Fear of amputation /Torture and other ill-treatment


SAUDI Muhammad Hamid Ibrahim Sulayman (m),

ARABIA Hassan Bashir (m),

Muhammad Salih (m) All Chadian

Jamila Muhammad Tijani (f) nationals



Muhammad Hamid Ibrahim Sulayman, Hassan Bashir and Muhammad Salih received at the end of June a copy of the verdict handed down in March following their trial before a criminal court in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh. The verdict confirmed that they had been convicted of robbery and that they were each sentenced to having their right arm amputated.


The three men have the right to submit appeals against their sentences but have been denied access to legal assistance. The appeals will be examined by the Court of Cassation and, if rejected, their cases will be passed to the Supreme Judicial Council. The Supreme Judicial Court can arrange for the sentence of amputation to be carried out.


No further information is known about Jamila Muhammad Tijani, who received a sentence of one year’s imprisonment following a trial before the same court in Riyadh and was released on bail pending review of the case of all of the defendants by the Court of Cassation and the Supreme Judicial Council.


The trial of all four individuals before the criminal court was unfair. None of them were given legal assistance or representation at any time during the judicial process. Some of them were also said to have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment upon arrest. Muhammad Hamid Ibrahim Sulayman, was kicked and punched, and sustained injuries r to his mouth that required hospital treatment.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Punishment by amputation is enforced in Saudi Arabia for offences mainly limited to cases of theft, for which the sentence is amputation of the right hand. Under international human rights law, the use of this sentence would constitute a violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.


RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in English or Arabic or your own language:

- expressing grave concern that Muhammad Hamid Ibrahim Sulayman, Hassan Bashir and Muhammad Salih have been sentenced to amputation and calling for the sentences to be commuted regardless of the offence for which they have been handed down;

- urging the Saudi Arabian authorities to ensure that the three men are given immediate access to legal counsel to assist them with their appeals;

- stating that Amnesty International recognizes the right and responsibility of governments to bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences, but opposes punishments, such as amputation, which constitute torture or other ill-treatment.


APPEALS TO:

King Abdullah Bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Al-Saud

The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques

Office of His Majesty The King

Royal Court

Riyadh

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Salutation: Your Majesty


His Excellency Dr Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim Al-Sheikh

Minister of Justice

Ministry of Justice

University Street

Riyadh 11137

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Fax: + 966 1 401 1741

Salutation: Your Excellency


His Royal Highness Prince Saud al-Faisal bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Al-Saud

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Nasseriya Street

Riyadh 11124

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Fax: +966 1 403 0645

Salutation: Your Royal Highness


COPIES TO:

Mr Turki bin Khaled Al-Sudairy

The President

The Human Rights Commission

PO Box 58889, Riyadh 11515

King Fahad Road

Building No.373

Riyadh

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Fax: +966 1 4612061


PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 12 August 2008.

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