• Campaigns

Saudi Arabia: Preventive death penalty action

, Index number: MDE 23/015/1999

Since the beginning of this year 96 people have been put to death in Saudi Arabia. Amnesty International is particularly concerned that these people may be at risk of execution after trials which do not comply with internationally recognised standards for fair trial.

PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 23/15/99
UA 282/99 Preventive Death Penalty Action
26 October 1999
SAUDI ARABIA
Since the beginning of this year 96 people have been put to death in Saudi
Arabia. The latest person to be executed was Orlando Lorenzo on 25 October
1999 in Riyadh.
Orlando Lorenzo, a Filipino national, was one of 59 people whose cases were
highlighted by Amnesty Internaitonal in a letter the organization sent to the
Saudi Arabian government in September this year. No response has been received
to date. As scheduled executions are not announced in advance, and in view
of the alarming recent increase in executions Amnesty International fears that
some or all of these people may be at risk of imminent execution. (See UA 251/99
- AI Index MDE 23/08/99, 27 September 1999).
Amnesty International is particularly concerned that these people may be at
risk of execution after trials which do not comply with internationally
recognised standards for fair trial, such as Article 14 of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and resolution 1984/50 adopted
by the Economic and Social Council, on the Safeguards guaranteeing the
protection of those facing the death penalty. Although Saudi Arabia acceded
to the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading
Treatment or Punishment in 1997, confessions obtained under duress, torture
or by deception are sometimes admitted in court.
Background
Saudi Arabia imposes the death penalty for drug trafficking, murder, rape,
armed robbery and apostasy (turning away from Islam). Of the 96 people put
to death this year, 50 were foreign nationals, including 12 Pakistanis, 10
Nigerians (three of them women), nine Afghans, six Indians, as well as nationals
of Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Syria, Jordan, Ethiopia, Chad and
Yemen.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in
English or your own language:
- calling for an immediate halt to all executions and the commutation of all
outstanding death sentences;
- expressing dismay at the increased use of the death penalty in Saudi Arabia
in recent months;
- expressing concern that executions are carried out after trials that fall
short of international standards, and urging the authorities to follow
international standards for capital trials.
2
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 the Interior
His Royal Highness, Prince Naif bin ‘Abdul-‘Aziz
Minister of the Interior, Ministry of the Interior
PO Box 2933, Airport Road,
Riyadh 11134, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Faxes: + 966 1 403 1185
Salutation: Your Royal Highness
Minister of Justice
His Excellency
Dr. Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim Al-Sheikh
Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice
University Street,
Riyadh 11137, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Telegrams: Justice Minister, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Salutation: Your Excellency
Minister of Information
His Excellency Dr. Fuad Abdul Salam Al-Farsi
Minister of Information, Ministry of Information
PO Box 843, Riyadh 11161,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: + 966 1 402 3570
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 7 December 1999.

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