Saudi Gazette — and Saudi social media — report on the bizarre case of a man who has been on death row for the past 32 years and was finally executed. There are many aspects of this case that are puzzling. It’s stated that he had paid the diyya (blood money) to avoid the death penalty. He was released and married. Then, somehow, he was retried and sentenced to death again. This time, the family of the deceased insisted on execution. And why he would have been brought to the place of execution 17 times before finally being killed is both grotesque and puzzling.

There are too many loose end in Saudi Arabia’s laws as currently implemented. Legal reform must continue so that appalling cases like this are ended. Saudi society is right to question how these events could have taken place. The facts, as reported, cast a very black shadow on Saudi Arabia and Shariah law.

Saudi executed after 32 years on death row
Ahmad Abdullah | Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — The oldest prisoner in the Kingdom was executed on Tuesday. Abdullah Fandi Al-Shammary, a Saudi, killed another citizen 32 years ago by repeatedly hitting him on the head with a big stick after a brawl broke out among a group of young men living in his neighborhood.

While defending himself, Al-Shammary picked up a stick off the ground and hit his victim, eventually killing him. He was jailed at the age of 21.

After five years, he was found guilty of manslaughter and he paid the blood money to secure his release. He celebrated his release and got married.

Two years after his release Al-Shammary was rearrested when the victim’s family appealed and he was put on trial again.

This time the court sentenced him to death. He was executed at the age of 54 after spending 32 years in prison, the majority of which he spent appealing his case.

Many people on Twitter sympathized with his case and sent 50,000 tweets on the morning of his execution. He memorized the Holy Qur’an during his prison term and was taken 17 times to the execution square.


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