The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.

In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The "Khamis Mushayt Girl" update 

I don't know whether it's a case of "No news is good news", but there haven't yet been any reports of the execution that was due to take place today, and would have happened by now (1430 BST).

An article in the Saudi Gazette gives us rather more detail about the death of the man in question.
However, she refused to give details about her story, noting that details are in the government files.
Amal was only 20 years old when a young man, who is a neighbor of her in-laws, broke into her house in the absence of her husband and attacked her. She carried her husband's hunting gun and shot him dead with three bullets to the head.
I begged him to leave me alone and get out of my house but he insisted, so I killed him to defend my home and honor, she said.
As a strong-willed woman who has been raised up on the mountains of Aseer where women share with their husbands the rigors of life, Amal cut the corpse into pieces and burned it. Then she wrapped it in a blanket and threw it in the garbage believing that the story will end at that point.
Like much of this story, the article raises more questions than it answers. Is this the same story as in the government files? What was the involvement of the husband then, and now? Was she really capable of cutting up a corpse and burning it without help?

On the other hand, there is this account:

A source close to the case, who asked not to be named, said according to the investigation, Amal said the man was threatening her with revealing their previous relationship before she got married as he kept photos and cassette tapes of her talking to him. He kept blackmailing her and she pretended to submit to his desire until she dragged him to her house where she killed him, the source said.

For "dragged", read "lured", it's a better translation. So what's the real story? As I said before, we're never likely to know. Saudi "justice" comprises of secret trials and public executions.

However the lady seems to have won everyone over, including the prison staff.

He (the Prison Director) described Amal as one of the best women in Kahmis Mushayt, the area where she lives. He said she belongs to a good family and a well-known tribe. He said that her file is clean since she entered the prison. Aseeri also confirmed the good conduct and behavior of Amal. She said Amal has become one of the prison staff as she helps them to deal with newcomers and calm them down until they integrate with the rest. She also makes Dawa (Preaching) to non- Muslim female prisoners. She memorized the Holy Qur an and most of the Prophet s sayings (Hadith).
She is loved by everyone and she takes good care of her friends not only in her cell but also in other cells, Aseeri said. I am quite sure that if she is forgiven she would be an active and good member of the society because she learned her lesson and now she is ready to help other women in the society to learn from her experience.

There's also a web site built by her supporters, http://www.freethegirl.com/ If you click on the arabic word in the grey block in the middle (that means "entry") you'll find yourself confronted with some very active discussion groups, almost 100% in her support.

So it seems that virtually everyone wants her to be pardoned for whatever it is she's done, or not done, as the case may be. Let's pray the dead man's family come round to that same point of view.

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