Social Media Campaign Stops a Saudi Beheading
|August 6, 2012|
Khaled Al Harabi was 14 years old when a 24 year-old man attempted to sexually assault him. Khaled defended himself by killing his attacker with a knife. When Khaled turned 18 this year, a Saudi judge sentenced him to beheading for killing his attacker. Under Saudi law, however, executions can be commuted if the family of the victim drops the case. The family of Khaled’s attacker demanded 30 million Saudi riyals ( $8 million USD) to spare Khaled.
Khaled’s family turned to Twitter and Facebook to raise the sum. They chose the hashtag #عتق_رقبة_خالد (“untie Khaled’s neck”) for their campaign to save their son from beheading. Activists published this picture of Khaled along with the campaign:
��" إحسان .، (@kkk_30_k) August 1, 2012
The result was an outpouring of support to raise the funds to pay off the family of the attacker. Khaled’s supporters published pictures of some of the checks received in the campaign to save him, including this one for 5 million riyals:
��" حسن الحربي (@hassanalhbib) August 2, 2012
Khaled’s tribe, the Al Harbi, succeeded in saving his life. They posted the status of the case on twitter, thanking the donors for their generosity:
الحمد لله والفضل لله والشكر لله شكرآ لكل من ساهم في��" قبيلة حرب (@HARB_RT) August 2, 2012
#عتق_رقبة_خالد شكرآ لكل من دعم بكلمة / بدعوة / بمبلغ شكرآ لكل من شارك شكرآ ابناء حرب
“Thank God, and Thank God for all those who helped stop the beheading. Thanks to those who supported Khaled with a word or with money. Thank you all.”
Beheading is still practiced in Saudi Arabia for various crimes including “apostasy,” or disagreeing with religious dogma. The U.S., an ally of Saudi Arabia, remains largely silent regarding this practice.