Al-Fatiha Denounces Executions in Saudi Arabia
January 8, 2002
Media Contact: Faisal Alam, Founder & Director
US Tel. 202-223-3738
Al-Fatiha, an international organization dedicated to lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgendered, and questioning (LGBTQ) Muslims denounced the latest
executions of three men in Saudi Arabia today. The men were presumed to be
According to the Associated Press, the Saudi Interior Ministry said in a
statement that three Saudi men were beheaded on Tuesday, January 1, 2002. The
men had "committed acts of sodomy, married each other, seduced young men
and attacked those who rebuked them," the statement said.
Ali bin Hatan bin Saad, Muhammad bin Suleiman bin Muhammad and Muhammad bin
Khalil bin Abdullah were executed in the southwestern mountain resort city of
Abha in Asir province, according to the statement carried by the official
Saudi Press Agency.
Al-Fatiha denounced the executions today but noted that it was very hard to
determine what exactly happened with the men and why they were executed. But
given the vaguely worded statement released by the Interior Ministry that
mentioned sodomy it is likely that the men were killed because of their
presumed sexual orientation. Saudi Arabia is ruled by a monarchy which
controls all social institutions including mosques and the media.
The government of Saudi Arabia has refused to disclose more details about
the case to international human rights organizations including Amnesty
"We are extremely disturbed by the continuing use of the death penalty
(in Saudi Arabia) in cases involving same-sex acts," said Faisal Alam,
founder & director of Al-Fatiha. "The Shariah (or Islamic law) which
is presumably followed in Saudi Arabia has been corrupted in so many ways,
that it is hard to tell fact from fiction."
According to Al-Fatiha the country follows a very strict interpretation of
Shariah (Islamic law). The Hanbalite school of thought which is followed in
Saudi Arabia considers sodomy (liwat) a form of adultery (zina) and the same
punishment (hadd) which is applied for adultery, namely stoning to death for
married persons and 100 lashes and banishment for unmarried persons, applies
to sodomy cases. But (according to Hanbalite Islamic law) to convict someone
under these laws four confessions are required on four separate occasions or
four witnesses need to witness the act of adultery (in this case sodomy)
"Given the horrendous human rights record of the Saudi government it
is unlikely that the men confessed willingly or that there were four witnesses
to the acts in question," said Faisal Alam in reaction to the use of
Islamic law to justify the executions in this case.
Al-Fatiha today also urged the international community to express its
outrage over the latest executions by contacting the Saudi government. (see
Amnesty Internationals Press Release at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/al-fatiha-news/message/242
for more information).
Letters should also be written to local and national government officials
to protest the executions.
In a letter written to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, Al-Fatiha
urged the US government to put pressure on its allies including Saudi Arabia
to ensure basic human rights for their citizens including gay, lesbian,
bisexual, and transgendered people and other sexual minorities.
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