A Sri Lankan woman has been arrested on suspicion of casting a spell on a 13-year-old girl during a Saudi family’s shopping trip, a police spokesman said on Wednesday, and may face death in a country where convicted sorcerers are beheaded.
The daily Okaz reported that a Saudi man had complained his daughter had “suddenly started acting in an abnormal way, and that happened after she came close to the Sri Lankan woman” in a large shopping mall in the port city of Jeddah.
“The punishment is always beheading for anyone found guilty of witchcraft,” a Saudi lawyer and human rights activist, Waleed Abu al-Khair, told Reuters by phone.
In December, Amnesty International condemned the beheading of a woman in Saudi Arabia convicted on charges of “sorcery and witchcraft,” saying it underlined the urgent need to end executions in the kingdom.
This Sri Lankan woman is looking at beheading for witchcraft. It’s staggering that we live in the 21st century and people still believe in witchcraft and blame conditions and situations that are within the normal human range as something occult and supernatural. Is it ignorance? Or is it just the culture that promotes such narrow superstitious thinking. Regardless, she was not a local. Were people prejudiced?
It’s one of the many reasons NOT to visit Saudi Arabia, the lost world. Hold on to your head.