Saudi Arabia sentences man to death for renouncing his Muslim faith and posting a video online showing him hitting the Koran with his shoe
- Unnamed man allegedly uploaded video to social media website last year
- In video he renounces faith before ripping up Koran and hitting it with shoe
- Court found him guilty of apostasy and ‘various other acts of blasphemy’
- Saudi Arabia follows strict school of Islam – clergy controls judicial system
- The man, in his 20s, has now been sentenced to death following incident
- Executions in the country are usually carried out by public beheading
Source: Daily Mail, 24th Feb 12:57.
“The Special Rapporteur notes that, according to universally accepted international standards, the right to freedom of religion or belief includes the right to adopt a religion of one’s choice, the right to change religion and the right to maintain a religion. She also notes that these aspects of the right to freedom of religion or belief have an absolute character and are not subject to any limitation whatsoever. […]
Since the choice of religion or belief is part of the forum internum, which allows for no limitations, a general prohibition of conversion by a state necessarily enters into conflict with applicable international standards. A law prohibiting conversion would constitute a state policy aiming at influencing individuals’ desire to have or adopt a religion or belief and is therefore not acceptable under human rights law.”
Jahangir, A. Elimination of all forms of religious intolerance, UN General Assembly, 60th Session, A/60/399, September 30th 2005, paragraphs 46 & 52, available at: Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights > English > Your Human Rights > Religion > Annual reports (accessed 24/02/2015).
“And let us say again tonight that these people in Iraq and Syria doing these appalling things, they have nothing to do with the great religion of Islam, a religion of peace, a religion that inspires daily acts of kindness and generosity.” – David Cameron, Eid speech 8th October 2014.