ITALY. TORCHLIT DEMONSTRATION FOR MAJDA, A MOROCCAN WOMAN AT RISK OF DECAPITATION IN SAUDI ARABIA
May 26, 2005: the plight of Majda Mustapha Mahir, a 40-year old Moroccan woman condemned to death in Saudi Arabia for the murder of her husband in 1998, took Hands Off Cain and the Association of Moroccan Women in Italy to the streets of Rome in protest.
Majda‚Äôs story was given front-page coverage in Italy‚Äôs leady daily Corriere della Sera on May 24, 2005, with an article by top journalist Magdi Allam, and humanitarian organizations have actively followed her case. The efforts seem to have paid off as, a few hours before the demonstration, a press release issued by the Saudi Embassy in Italy affirmed that the death sentence had been annulled 4 months ago.
Undeterred, the demonstrators delivered to the embassy a letter requesting an official confirmation from Riyadh of the information contained in the press release.
Sergio D‚ÄôElia, HOC Secretary General, said the press statement was disquieting as it mentions the lifting of a death sentence of which no one had had any news, despite that it appears to have taken place months previously.
‚ÄúThis is a situation that is further proof of the existence of an authoritarian regime under which there is an absolute lack of transparency in the judicial process and where people are condemned to death without even knowing it,‚ÄĚ D‚ÄôElia said.
HOC, in view of this lack of transparency, has asked the Italian Foreign Ministry to request an official confirmation of the status of Majda‚Äôs case from the Saudi authorities.
Souad Sbai, President of the Association of Moroccan Women in Italy, is calling for a fair trial for¬† Majda, should the annulment of her death sentence be confirmed. (Sources: Hands Off Cain, 27/05/2005)