Human Rights

Saudi Arabia: Ahmad Al Shamri’s appeal denied, sentenced to death for atheism.

Ahmad Al Shamri, a young man in his early 20’s from the city of Hafr Al Batin has been sentenced to death after his appeal was denied by Saudi Appeals and Supreme Courts.

Many on twitter were celebrating and lauding the penalty with the hash tag #مرتد_حفرالباطن stating that it was in accord with Islam while others expressed support for Ahmad and sorrow at the state of affairs.

Ahmad was initially arrested on charges of atheism and blasphemy in April 2014. He was convicted by a local court and sentenced to death in February 2015.

Ahmad was accused of uploading content to social media including videos renouncing Islam , Mohammed and his daughter Fatima who holds special significance within the Shia sect of Islam.

The defense entered an insanity plea as well as asserting that he was under the influence of intoxicants – drugs and alcohol at the time he uploaded the videos.

[Defense attorney] Al-Mafleh added that that the commission of grave sin under the influence of alcohol and narcotics exempts the accused from criminal responsibility and places him in the category of [Islamically] judicially insane, based on the fatwa of Sheikh Mohammed bin Saleh al-Munajjid, where he confirmed that if those under the influence of alcohol “speak words of kufr, then they have not committed kufr,and if they attempt to divorce, they havenot actually divorced.”

A Saudi Islamic Affairs Ministry preacher Sheikh Abdallah bin Mufrih Al-‘Anzi stated that
“The phenomenon of renouncing Islam is not new; it began even in the era of the Prophet Muhammad, and Allah brought down the Koran verses in order to warn against it.”

Anzi also reiterated that the sentence for blasphemy is the same as for apostasy – death and no repentance was acceptable.

Additional news sources about the denial of Ahmad Al Shamri’s appeal and the 2014/2015 case



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