Monday, November 30, 2009
Death Penalty For Psychics?
Wow this is spooky.
"When the popular 46-year-old Lebanese psychic Ali Sibat went on-air and made his predictions about the future, the phone lines of the satellite television station Sheherazade used to be flooded with calls.
But what the star psychic probably did not predict was that his claims to supernatural prowess would land him a death sentence.
"He was the most popular psychic on the channel," the Lebanese news agency Naharnet quoted Sibat’s lawyer May Khansa as saying. "The number of callers, including from all over the gulf, spiked in number when he appeared."
But while on pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia last year, Sibat was spotted by religious police in the holy city of Medina. Their job it is to battle vice and uphold virtue in the ultraconservative kingdom. So they arrested Sibat in his room at the Medina Hotel on charges of sorcery.
On Nov. 9, Sibat was given a death sentence by a Mecca court for allegedly practicing witchcraft.
Sibat’s fate is common in Saudi Arabia.
Scores of alleged witch doctors, fortunetellers, and black magicians each year are dragged through the Saudi courts, including Fawza Falih, who’s been on death row since 2006 for witchcraft.
Her accusers include a man who claims the 51-year-old, illiterate Falih is the reason for his impotence.
The witch hunt in the kingdom and a recent rise in witchcraft and sorcery cases are causing concern among human rights groups. News reports say at least two other people have been snatched for witchcraft only in the last month.
New York-based Human Rights Watch called on the Saudi government Tuesday to overturn Sibat’s death sentence and all other witchcraft convictions for crimes the group says are loosely defined and used in an arbitrary way...."
Full article :