Mum appeals for help to save son from gallows

A Saudi widow is appealing for help to save her son from execution by paying SRfive million (Dh4.9 million) to the relatives of a young man killed by her son during a fight, newspapers reported on Sunday.

A U-Tube film carried by Arabic language dailies in the Gulf kingdom showed the veiled woman sobbing as she made an impassionate appeal for donations, saying she her only source of income is SR900 a month in social aid.

Umm Hatem said the victim’s family has agreed to pardon her son in return for SRfive million and that the court has given her two years to get the money.

“More than one year has passed but I have not managed to get any money…I am appealing for all benevolent people to help me,” she said in the film, shot at her shabby house in the southern province of Asir.

“Every day the sun rises and brings me a gleam of hope that my son will live and I will be able to hug him and see him every day….but I am alone and feel totally unable to do save him….to all good people I say…please save my son.”

According to Ajel newspaper, her son, Hatim Al Asmari killed his friend during a scuffle in Asir nearly four years ago. He was sentenced to death but was later pardoned by the victim’s relatives in return for SRfive million.

Under Islamic law, which is strictly enforced in Saudi Arabia, a killer could avert beheading and walk free if forgiven by the victim’s family in exchange for diya (blood money), which is officially set at SR300,000 in Saudi Arabia. But the victim’s relatives are allowed to demand any sum.


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