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Ali Abu Luhum

Man sentenced to 15 years in prison for saying God does not exist – NRK Urix – Foreign Documentary News

If requested by Human Rights Watch (Human Rights Watch) The prosecution indicated that Abu Lahoum was mocking God, Islam, and the Prophet Muhammad.

The 38-year-old is said to have posted content contrary to public order, religious values ​​and public morals on social media.

According to court documents reviewed by Human Rights Watch, the indictment also included a denial of the existence of God. It is considered blasphemy and a criminal offense in Saudi Arabia.

The same is “apostasy”, that is, a Muslim ceases to believe in God and in the Prophet Muhammad.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is trying to present himself as a supporter of reform. But there is no official or real freedom of religion in Saudi Arabia. Photo from December 14.

Foto: BANDAR AL-JALOUD / AFP

confessed coercion

The indictment, which was the basis of the sentence, was based on a confession made by Abu Lahoum under duress. Unidentified sources say the human rights organization Human Rights Watch is in contact.

The prosecution was said to have threatened to target Abu Lahoum’s wife as well. This is why it occurred.

But he withdrew the confession in court. He must have made the judges believe he could not be sentenced to death, the prosecution demanded.

However, it was not confirmed that the circumstances surrounding the confession were what made the judges refrain from sentencing him to death.

Instead, the sentence was 15 years in prison, including five for violating Saudi Arabia’s computer crime laws. Existing Twitter accounts have been closed.

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi wrote that Crown Prince bin Salman only pretended to be a liberal, when in reality he could not stand the opposition. Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. According to the Biden administration, the crown prince approved the killing.

Photo: Hasan Jamali / AP

No witnesses from the defense

The verdict fell on October 26, but it is only widely known by Human Rights Watch today.

Three court hearings were said to have taken place between 10 and 26 October. The defense requested that she have witnesses.

But this never happened. The verdict fell without any witnesses speaking on behalf of Abu Lahoum.

In his first month in custody, until 23 September, he had not yet appointed a defender in turn.

Not religious freedom

According to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, non-Muslims are prohibited from holding public religious gatherings in Saudi Arabia United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Nor can they build their own houses of worship, such as churches.

Policewomen guarding the shrine of the Kaaba during the month of Hajj.

Saudi policewomen guard Islam’s most important shrine, the Kaaba, at the main mosque in Mecca. There has been some liberalization lately regarding the jobs that women can hold. The photo is from this year’s Hajj month, July 20.

Photo: Amr Nabil/The Associated Press

Apostates, gays, lesbians, and transgender people can be punished with death.

According to the American Commission, some negative publicity about religious minorities has been removed from school textbooks.

But it is still common to imprison religious leaders of other faiths, including Shiite Muslims.

Shiites make up between 10 and 15 percent of the population. They live mainly in the eastern province of the country, and they are practically excluded from high positions in the state and defense agencies.

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