On 17 November, the Saudi Arabian authorities found Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh guilty of ‘apostasy’ – renouncing Islam – in his poetry, and sentenced him to be executed.
He is currently on death row, awaiting higher courts’ decisions on his execution.
Don’t let Saudi Arabia execute Ashraf for his poetry
35-year-old Ashraf was arrested in January 2014 for supposedly questioning religion and spreading atheist thought through his poetry. His death sentence was handed down two months ago.
Throughout his detention and trial Ashraf was denied access to a lawyer – a violation of international human rights and Saudi Arabia’s own national laws.
Apostasy is not a crime – it is a violation of a person’s right to a belief, or to choose their own religion. Ashraf needs to be freed now.
Call for the Saudi Arabian authorities to release Ashraf
Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most prolific executioners, and began the new year with an execution spree.
In a dark day for rights, on 2 January authorities there executed 47 people in one day. Some of the deceased had, like Ashraf, not had fair trials before they were imprisoned and sentenced to death.
As Saudi Arabian authorities continue their human rights crackdown, it’s vital that we stand up to the rights’ abusers and use our free speech to speak for Ashraf, facing death simply because of the content of his poetry.
Saudi Arabia shouldn’t execute anyone for ‘apostasy’