Saudi Arabia: Protest the Death Penalty for Homosexual Conduct in Saudi Arabia

SUMMARY

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) forwards the following action alert released by Amnesty International, regarding three men in Saudi Arabia who were executed, possibly solely on account of their homosexual conduct.

IGLHRC joins with Amnesty International in urging letters of protest to the Saudi Arabian authorities whose addresses appear below.

IGLHRC remains concerned that these newly reported executions are only the latest incident in a pattern of human rights violations and abuse in Saudi Arabia against persons stigmatized for their consensual sexual conduct or gender identity.

FOWARDED ACTION

SAUDI ARABIA: THREE MEN EXECUTED FOR HOMOSEXUAL ACTS

January 4, 2002

On January 1, 2002, 'Ali bin Hittan bin Sa'id, Muhammad bin Suleyman bin Muhammad and Muhammad bin Khalil bin 'Abdullah, all Saudi Arabian nationals, were executed in Abha, Asir province, possibly solely for their sexual orientation. The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior issued a statement announcing that the three were convicted of homosexual acts, adding vaguely-worded charges of "luring children and harming others" without providing any further details. The trial proceedings of the three men remain shrouded in secrecy.

The execution of these three men is yet another gesture of defiance by the Saudi Arabian government of international standards which urge states not to impose the death penalty for offences with no lethal consequences. Amnesty International fears that it may also be a sign of the Saudi Arabian government's determination to continue its appalling yearly rate of executions - at least 205 people have been executed since 2000, including people convicted of non-violent offences. Amnesty International does not know how many people are under sentence of death in Saudi Arabia as this is a secret kept by the government, but the figure could be hundreds.

RECOMMENDED ACTION

Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail letters: - expressing concern that the three men named above may have been executed primarily because of their sexual orientation and seeking urgent clarification of the exact charges and evidence brought against them, together with information on their trial proceedings - seeking urgent clarification of the names of any prisoners under sentence of death due to their sexual orientation and calling for the commutation of their sentences - expressing dismay at the continued use of the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, and calling for a moratorium on executions as called for by the United Nations - urging that international standards for capital trials are strictly observed

Send appeals to:

King and Prime Minister, The Custodian of the Two Holy Shrines
His Majesty King Fahd bin 'Abdul 'Aziz Al-Saud
Office of H.M. The King
Royal Court, Riyadh
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Telegrams: King Fahd, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Salutation: Your Majesty.
His Royal Highness Prince Naif bin 'Abdul 'Aziz
Minister of the Interior
Ministry of the Interior
P.O. Box 2933, Airport Road
Riyadh 11134
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: + 966 1 403 1185
Telegram: Minister of Interior, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Salutation: Your Royal Highness
His Excellency Dr. 'Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim Al-Sheikh
Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice
University Street, Riyadh 11137
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: + 966 1 401 1741
Telegram: Minister of Justice, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Salutation: Your Excellency

Send copies to:

Prince Bandar Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the U.S.
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
601 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20037
Tel: (202) 337-4076/4134
Fax: (202) 944-5983
Email: info@saudiembassy.net

Please note: Your letters should be formal, polite, typewritten, and preferably in English or Arabic. If you receive no reply after one month, you should write again. If there's still no reply after that, write a third time.