» 05/13/2013, 00.00
SAUDI ARABIA - LEBANON
Six years and 300 lashes for a Lebanese Christian for having converted a young Saudi
Saudi also sentenced along with the man. Both were colleagues of a young woman, who fled to Sweden after her conversion. The girl is now living under the protection of some NGOs and never wants to return home.
Khobar (AsiaNews /
Agencies) - A court in Al-Khobar, Saudi city east of the Gulf, has sentenced a
Lebanese Christian to prison and flogging for having converted a young Saudi man
to Christianity and helped
young woman escape from the country. The first considered the organizer of
the operation, was sentenced to six years in prison and 300 lashes. The Saudi was
charged as an accomplice to two years and 200 lashes. Both worked with the girl
in an insurance company. The two have announced an appeal.
The case, which began last year in late July, has caused a stir in Saudi
Arabia, an ultra-conservative kingdom which applies a strict version of Islam. Muslims
who convert to another religion risk the death penalty.
So far, investigators have not revealed the identity of the young woman, who for
several months has taken refuge in Sweden and refuses to return home despite
the various appeals of her family, and various negotiations between the Saudi
embassy in Stockholm and Swedish authorities to hand over the girl. She is
currently under the protection of non-governmental organizations and in a video
posted recently appeared claiming to have chosen to convert to Christianity without
being under any duress.
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Girl’s father denounces act. She is now in Lebanon and refuses to return and abandon Christianity. Two colleagues charged, one Saudi and one Lebanese.
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