Monday, December 15, 2008

Lethal public hair in Saudi Arabia

The article speaks for itself. Please note that it was published in Saudi Arabia.
When international agreements conflict with Saudi court rulings
Angelo Young | Arab News  

JEDDAH: Abiding by international agreements as well as Shariah has been a stated focus of the governmental Saudi Human Right Commission, which recently commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
One such international agreement is the Convention on the Rights of the Child that the Kingdom voluntarily signed in 1996 that, among a list of other articles, prohibits putting to death criminals who committed their crimes when they were under the age of 18.
In November, the Shoura Council approved a law officially defining the age of adulthood as 18, a move aimed at putting the Kingdom in sync with the definition of the age of a minor in the eyes of the United Nations and a large number of countries. The Kingdom has committed to not putting to death minors under this definition.
In Islamic law an adult is defined by a number of factors, including physical evidence of puberty as well as the determination of a person's mental, emotional and intellectual maturity.
Because evidence of puberty begins before the age of 18, a judge who determines that a young person convicted of murder is an adult based solely on this physical evidence of adulthood might sentence a minor (as defined by the UN convention the Kingdom has signed) to death. Alternatively a minor might also be held until he is no longer considered a minor and then executed.
Mueed Al-Hakami, the 16-year-old son of Hussein Al-Hakami, was beheaded on July 10, 2007, in the southern Saudi city of Jizan two years after he was arrested, charged and found guilty of sexually assaulting and killing a younger boy.
Hussein said he was prevented from being present during the police interrogation shortly after Mueed was arrested, and that he didn't learn of his son's beheading until a few days after the execution and burial. He claims that he doesn't know where his son's body is buried.
Hussein's lawyer, Abdullah Al-Zmami, told Arab News in April that the judge in the case should have never passed this case beyond juvenile court. Hussein claims the judge passed the case on after asking only for physical proof that Mueed was acting as an adult: his pubic hair.

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