Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sri Lankan woman accused of casting spell on 13-year-old girl could face death

New York Daily News

A Sri Lankan woman was arrested on suspicion of casting a spell on a 13-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia — and faces beheading if convicted of witchcraft.
“The punishment is always beheading for anyone found guilty of witchcraft,” Waleed Abu al-Khair, a Saudi lawyer and human rights activist, told Reuters.
The girl’s father said she began acting strangely after coming across the Sri Lankan woman in a shopping mall in Jeddah, Reuters reports, citing the daily Okaz.
He reportedly alerted security and asked for the woman’s arrest.
Amnesty International in December condemned the beheading of another woman who was convicted on charges of “sorcery and witchcraft” in Saudi Arabia.
Philip Luther, the interim direct of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa program, called the killing “deeply shocking.”
He added that the Saudi government often uses sorcery charges as a coverup to punish people for exercising freedom of speech, ABC News reports.

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