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Saudi Arabia: Further information on fear of increase in executions

, رقم الوثيقة: MDE 23/006/1997

Sarah Dematera, Filipino national, and others on death row; new case: 21 Pakistani nationals, including women and children: The fate of Sarh Dematera remains unclear. Those at also risk of execution may include some of a group of 21 Pakistani nationals, reportedly including women and children, who were arrested on 22 January 1997, allegedly for the possession of drugs.

EXTERNAL AI Index: MDE 23/06/97
3 July 1997
Further information on EXTRA 43/97 (MDE 23/03/97, 25 March 1997) and follow-up
(MDE 23/04/97, 23 May) - Fear of increase in executions
SAUDI ARABIASarah Dematera (f), Filipino national
and others on death row
new case: 21 Pakistani nationals, including women and children
Executions are continuing at an alarming rate in Saudi Arabia, with a total
of 59 people having been executed so far in 1997, as recorded by Amnesty
International. The organization remains gravely concerned that more prisoners
on death row may be facing imminent execution.
All those executed so far in 1997 had been convicted of criminal offences,
such as murder, drug smuggling, armed robbery or rape. No information was made
public about their trials and conviction as it is a practice in Saudi Arabia
to only announce executions once they have been carried out.
The fate of Sarah Dematera, a Filipino national convicted of murdering her
employer in 1992, remains unclear. The Saudi Arabian authorities have failed
to respond to repeated requests by Amnesty International, including members
of the Urgent Action Network, for clarification of her sentence.
Those at risk of execution may also include some of a group of 21 Pakistani
nationals, reportedly including women and children, who were arrested on 22
January 1997, allegedly for the possession of drugs. No information has been
made public about them by the Saudi Arabian Government since their arrest.
However, as drug offences are mandatorily punishable by death in Saudi Arabia,
after trials which pay no attention to international standards, Amnesty
International fears that they are in real danger of execution. The organization
recently conveyed this concern to the Saudi Arabian Government and sought
clarification of the current legal status of these individuals, but has so
far received no response.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/express/ airmail
letters in Arabic, English or in your own language:
- voicing unconditional opposition to the death penalty, and expressing grave
concern that executions are continuing to be carried out at an alarming rate
in Saudi Arabia;
- calling for an immediate halt to further executions, and urging the authorities
to commute all outstanding death sentences to a more humane punishment;
- reiterating requests for clarification of the current legal status of Sarah
Dematera, and of the 21 Pakistani nationals, including women and children,
some of whom may be at risk of being executed;
- pointing out that under Article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the
Child, to which Saudi Arabia recently acceded, capital punishment cannot be
imposed for offences committed by persons below 18 years of age;
if possible, also:
- call for strict observance during trial of international safeguards for
defendants charged with capital offences, noting the recent resolution on the
death penalty made by the 1997 Commission on Human Rights, which ‘calls upon
all States that still maintain the death penalty to observe the UN Safeguards
guaranteeing the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty’,
2
and also ‘calls upon States that still retain the death penalty to make available
to the public information with regard to the imposition of the death penalty’;
APPEALS TO:
The Custodian of the Two Holy Shrines
His Majesty King Fahd bin 'Abdul-'Aziz
Office of H.M. The King
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Telegrams: King Fahd, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Salutation: Your Majesty
Minister of Interior
His Royal Highness
Prince Naif bin 'Abdul-'Aziz
Ministry of the Interior
PO Box 2833
Airport Road, Riyadh 11134
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Telegrams: Minister of the Interior, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Telexes: 404416
Salutation: Your Royal Highness
Minister of Foreign Affairs
His Royal Highness
Prince Saud al-Faisal bin 'Abdul 'Aziz
Nasseriya Street, Riyadh 11124
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Telegrams: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Telexes: 405000
Salutation: Your Royal Highness
Minister of Justice
His Excellency
Dr. Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim Al-Sheikh
Ministry of Justice
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Telegrams: Minister of Justice, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Telexes: 403970
Salutation: Your Excellency
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of Saudi Arabia accredited to your
country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 10 August 1997.

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