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Saudi Arabia: Further information on Death penalty / Fear of imminent execution

, Index number: MDE 23/022/1999

Abdel Aziz was reported today to have been granted a further week to raise the US$1.3 million "blood money" required to halt his execution for murder.

PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 23/22/99
8 December 1999
Further information on EXTRA 174/99 (MDE 23/21/99, 3 December 1999) - Death
penalty/fear of imminent execution
SAUDI ARABIAAbdel Aziz, aged 19 (name previously unknown, age given as 28)
Abdel Aziz was reported today to have been granted a further week to raise
the US$1.3 million required to halt his execution for murder.
According to Agence France Presse, an Islamic court in Mecca granted the
extension on Tuesday to allow him more time to raise the "blood money" demanded
by the victim’s family to spare his life. It was also reported that Abdel Aziz
would be executed if the money was not raised. He had originally been given
until today to raise the sum, said by the Saudi Arabian press to be unusually
high for such a case.
The Saudi Arabian newspapers Al-Madinah and Arab News are said to have set
up telephone lines for the public to donate money.
Capital trials in Saudi Arabia violate Articles 1 and 5 of the 1984 United
Nations Safeguards guaranteeing the protection of those facing the death
penalty, which state respectively "In countries which have not abolished the
death penalty, capital punishment may be imposed only for the most serious
crimes, it being understood that their scope should not go beyond intentional
crimes with lethal or other extremely grave consequences" and "Capital
punishment may only be carried out pursuant to a final judgement rendered by
a competent court after legal process which gives all possible safeguards to
ensure a fair trial... including the right of anyone suspected of or charged
with a crime for which capital punishment may be imposed to adequate legal
assistance at all stages of the proceedings."
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/ airmail
letters in English or your own language:
- urging the authorities to halt the planned execution of Abdel Aziz whether
or not the money is raised, and to commute his sentence to a more humane
- urging the authorities to follow international standards for capital trials;
- calling for an immediate halt to all executions and the commutation of all
outstanding death sentences.
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
Telegrams:Information Minister, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Faxes: + 966 1 402 3570
Salutation: Your Excellency
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of Saudi Arabia accredited to your
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 5 January 2000.

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