Document - Saudi Arabia: Further information: Man executed in Saudi Arabia: Abdullah bin Fandi bin Ghazi al-Shammari


Further information on UA: 324/08 Index: MDE 23/005/2013 Saudi Arabia Date: 7 February 2013



Abdullah Fandi al-Shammari was executed on 5 February in the city of Hail, in northern Saudi Arabia, for a killing committed in 1981 or 1982. He had spent over 30 years in prison before he was executed.

On 5 February, Abdullah bin Fandi bin Ghazi al-Shammari was executed for a killing committed in 1981 or 1982. In 1988, he was tried before a court of first instance in Hail and found guilty of manslaughter, on the basis that he did not intend to kill the victim. He was ordered to pay compensation (diya) to the family of the victim. The ruling was confirmed on appeal in 1989, but he was later released. In 1990 the Supreme Judicial Council returned the case to the court of first instance for a retrial and he was subsequently rearrested, retried for the same crime and sentenced to death in 1992. His case was heard and determined in one session; he had no access to the file or to any legal assistance, and was not able to appeal against the sentence before it was confirmed by the Court of Cassation.

According to Abdullah Fandi al-Shammari’s court file, the facts of the case presented by the prosecution in the second trial differed from those in the first. For example, in the second trial he was accused of using an iron bar when he attacked the victim, while in the first trial it was reported that he used a wooden stick.

On various occasions, Abdullah Fandi al-Shammari was scheduled for execution before being given a reprieve after the Saudi Arabian authorities intervened to allow negotiations to take place with the family of the person he was convicted of killing. In Saudi Arabia the immediate family members of a murdered person have the power to seek execution, request diya, or grant a conditional or unconditional pardon.

No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.

This is the second update of UA 324/08. Further information: For a separate UA on the same case, see:


man executed in saudi arabia

ADditional Information

Saudi Arabia applies the death penalty to a wide range of offences. Court proceedings fall far short of international standards for fair trial. Defendants are rarely allowed formal representation by a lawyer, and in many cases are not informed of the progress of legal proceedings against them. They may be convicted solely on the basis of “confessions” obtained under duress and/or deception.

In a report published in 2008 on the use of the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, Amnesty International highlighted the extensive use of the death penalty as well as the disproportionately high number of executions of foreign nationals from developing countries. For further information please see Affront to Justice: Death Penalty in Saudi Arabia (MDE 23/027/2008), 14 October 2008:

In 2012, Amnesty International recorded the execution of at least 79 people. In 2011 at least 82 executions took place; this is more than triple the figure of 27 for 2010. In 2009, at least 69 people are known to have been executed; in 2008 at least 102; and in 2007 at least 158, of which 76 were foreign nationals. Thus far in 2013, at least 10 people have been executed.

The Supreme Court began to function in February 2009 as the final court of appeal. This is part of a new court system introduced by the 2007 Law of the Judiciary. The Court of Cassation, which used to handle appeals, has since been replaced by courts of appeal. The Supreme Judicial Council continues to exist and has been allocated responsibilities such as the supervision of the organization of the Judiciary, including the appointment, promotion and disciplining of judges. For more information regarding the judicial reforms, please see Saudi Arabia: Affront to Justice: Death Penalty in Saudi Arabia (MDE 23/027/2008), 14 October 2008 (see above).

Name: Abdullah bin Fandi bin Ghazi al-Shammari (previously spelled as ‘Abdullah Fandi al-Shammari)

Gender m/f: m

Further information on UA: 324/08 Index: MDE 23/005/2013 Issue Date: 7 February 2013


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