Saudi man executed for ‘witchcraft and sorcery’


A Saudi man has been beheaded on charges of sorcery and witchcraft, the state news agency SPA says.

The man, Muree bin Ali bin Issa al-Asiri, was found in possession of books and talismans, SPA said. He had also admitted adultery with two women, it said.

The execution took place in the southern Najran province, SPA reported.

Human rights groups have repeatedly condemned executions for witchcraft in Saudi Arabia.

Last year, there were reports of at least two people being executed for sorcery.

Mr Asiri was beheaded after his sentence was upheld by the country’s highest courts, the Saudi news agency website said.

No details were given of what he was found guilty of beyond the charges of witchcraft and sorcery.

Amnesty International says the country does not formally classify sorcery as a capital offence.

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  1. Which century is this?

    How can someone comfortable live in this country so obsessed with death that any moronic pretext for killing someone will do?

  2. Is this the same Saudi Arabia that people keep talking about being on a path to ‘reform’ ? I’m not clear how they managed to miss the fact that leaving the dark ages might be a pre-requisite for any such reform.

  3. Surely a powerful, evil sorcerer would be able to avoid capture and execution by non-magical folk.  Anyone less powerful would not be deserving of execution.  I guess the (il)logic of this escapes the authorities. 

    How far we have yet to go.

  4. How much longer can the West continue to call Arabia Deserta an “ally” with a straight face?

  5. How can we ever hope to win the war against
    superstition?  You know about 10 years
    ago I tried using my priesthood to fix my Audi so shit like this doesn’t really
    surprise me, so yes it is possible that people still actually believe that
    witch’s and sorcerer’s are a part of reality. 
    It’s not like you can prove to them that there is no such thing as
    magic, their superstitions are as real to them as subatomic particles are real
    to you and I, the only difference being is that science gives us reasonable
    cause to accept the reality of something which is just as invisible to our

  6. You can be pretty sure Hillary Clinton will pretend not to notice.
    It is so disgusting the way the USA treats Saudi Arabia pretending it cannot see its faults. It was their people who allegedly committed 9/11, but the USA arranged jets for Saudis out of the USA without interrogation. They sell them the latest military technology and fret about the militarisation of the middle east. Along with Yemen, the Saudis encourage the most extreme flavours of Islam. America needs their oil, so they behave with Ned-Beatty obsequiousness. The shame of doing that alone should be sufficient reason to find alternative fuels. 

    There is not much we can do about this sort of insanity without a world constitution, bill of rights, and enforcement mechanism.  Individual leaders that violate it get tried and punished — not entire countries.

  7. Holy shit. As Neodarwinian wrote below, “What century is this?” Somebody give me the email address for the Saudi Crown Prince (the new one, not the one who just died). Everyone who reads this should write to them and let them know that we know they are frauds hiding behind religious tradition. Also let them know that each of us is going to work for energy independence, after which they, and their religion, are going to be cut loose to fall back into the garbage heap of mythology.

  8. *Welcome, to Saudi Arabia. It’s like Medieval Europe, in a Desert!*

    (Not sure if the Saudi’s are in to nation branding, but I think that about sums them up nicely)

  9. Yawn.  This is routine for the Saudis. 

    I’m more offended when several schoolgirls are burned to death, as that is deemed less sinful than the girls exposing their faces in escaping from a burning school. 

    At this point, its difficult for me to muster much outrage when learning of yet another routine Saudi barbarism, but I concede that its worthwhile to document as many of those barbarisms as possible. 

  10. 2012 CE

    The world has learnt nothing!…except how to be ever more moronic!
    And still fall over themselves to prop these nasty deluded shit stains up with political deals and financial  jiggery pokery.

    Where is the condemnation, repugnance,  utter disgust and wrath from western politicians and businesses…ahh yeah seems to be directly proportional to the kickbacks to the wallet.
    And the UN are looking the other way…after all blasphemy trumps humanity apparently.

  11. Can’t wait until that oil runs out… sending them back into pre-history. 


    Some, he explains, have repeatedly called for the strongest possible
    punishments against anyone suspected of sorcery – whether they are
    fortune tellers or faith healers.

    Mmmm!  Not many Homoeopaths, astrologers, faith healers, or fortune tellers there?  – Sounds good! – Pity about the witch-hunting!  That kind of negates the benefits!  Halloween party anyone?

  13. So that’s why Derek Ogilvie doesn’t tour Saudi Arabia. But seriously, what’s going on here? Maybe it’s the first steps of a medieval society towards enlightenment, given that the European which hunt took place during the enlightenment (not in the middle ages as popularly believed). But that’s probably too optimistic.
    When I try to understand the Saudis I could say that I also don’t like charlatans like Ogilvie or Uri Geller, but beheading them is quite a step too far. They (the Saudis) probably believe that this is a good solution to a problem that they don’t understand. When you believe that the soul lives on it’s easier to kill someone else. The soul is immortal anyway so what’s the problem? Actually, when I look at it differently it doesn’t make any sense, not even from the perspective of the strong believer. Isn’t God supposed to pass judgment? Or do they think their God isn’t up to the task? (Boy are they going to get it when he finds out…)

  14.  They already know they’re frauds and hucksters. They laughing up their sleeves every day. It’s our fault they have this much power.

  15. I once knew a newt, a newt I knew. Then I turned him into a chunky fat monkey.

    The US evanginuts can do better than magic than that!  They can turn one into a Republican Speaker of the House and presidential hopeful! –

  16. The UK can’t condemn these “dark-age savages”, they’re our best customer for weapons exports! No, what these savages need are more advanced strike fighter planes festooned with high-tech bombs and missiles (and a few sacred talismen to keep away the evil gremlins).

    No matter that they’re ranked 161 out of 167 in the democracy index, they’ve got cash and lots of it.

  17. Let’s not complain too much. Remember that Saudi Arabia is one of our more “moderate” allies in the middle east. And you really shouldn’t offend them, they might refuse to sell us oil and buy our weapons.

  18. It seems opportunities were lost, where this poor sinner could have been “saved”.  Surely the Vatican could have sent  Chief exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth to cast out his devils! –
    Ratzinger could even pay a visit to Saudi and work a miracle for them!He might achieve sainthood and martyrdom simultaneously!

  19. Gee, I wonder if the state religion had anything to do with this?

    Cultural relativism coming to a nation near you.

  20. … And I was beginning to be positive and think that things like the Salem Witch Trials are a thing of the past…

  21. As a point of no particular interest, the Witchcraft Act of 1734 ended this in Europe, changing it to a law about vagrancy and conning people for money which begs the obvious question: Could the Witchcraft Act be used against the Pope, Astrologers and the Queen.

  22. I think Richard Dawkins he is one of Britain,s great thinkers,with a strong focus on reality and truth.

  23. What to expect from a regime killing women for being raped and gays for being gays. I surprised people aren’t killed for being people already.

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