Last edited: February 14, 2005

Al-Fatiha Denounces Executions in Saudi Arabia

Press Release
Al-Fatiha Foundation, 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 gay.

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 International.

"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) taking place.

"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

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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