Word has come that Lebanese citizen Ali Sibat will not be executed in Saudi Arabia for the crime of sorcery. Sibat, who was seized by Saudi Arabia’s religious police in 2008 while returning from the holy city of Mecca, was accused of sorcery and sentenced to death for making televised predictions about the future in Lebanon. “May al-Khansa told The Associated Press that the Saudi ambassador in Beirut informed the Lebanese justice minister that the execution of Ali Sibat would not take place. “He confirmed to me that there will be no execution,” al-Khansa said about her conversation with Ibrahim Najjar, Lebanon’s justice minister. She refused to go into details but said “matters are going in the right direction. We have faith in Saudi Arabia’s judicial system,” she added, noting that Sibat’s actions are not considered a crime in Lebanon.”
The Los Angeles Times’ Middle East-focused blog “Babylon & Beyond” has an excellent look at the current situation of Ali Sibat, a Lebanese citizen who was arrested and sentenced to death for the crime of “sorcery” in Saudi Arabia. They not only touch on the political manipulations inside Saudi Arabia that might be fueling this rush to judicial murder, a theme touched on in a previous report by NPR, but also focus on the Lebanese citizens who are outraged at this miscarriage of justice. The Arabic writing on the banners reads:”Don’t kill.” Credit: Bilal Hussein / AP
“In Lebanon they have rallied behind Sabat, calling on politicians to take a stronger stance. On Thursday, protesters gathered in front of the Saudi embassy in Beirut where they reenacted a mock hanging to protest Sabat’s sentence.
I’ll spare all of you the seemingly obligatory April Fools’ Day post, where I pretend I’ve converted to Christianity (or atheism), or run some clearly farcical story where a famous Pagan does something out-of-character. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy a well-done joke, it’s just that I like to leave such things to the professionals. Besides, April 1st is not only my lovely wife’s birthday, but our wedding anniversary as well. So I’ll be out for most of today properly celebrating both occasions. So before I head off, let’s do a very quick round-up of some (real) Pagan news.