Saudi Arabia's longest-serving prisoner executed, after cousin's family reject pardon plea

Saudi Arabia's longest-serving prisoner executed, after cousin's family reject pardon plea
Hadi bin Kadamah had been in prison since 1992.
2 min read
24 June, 2020
Saudi Arabia is one of the most prolific executioners in the world [Getty]
Saudi Arabia's longest-serving prisoner was put to death on Tuesday, following a decades-long battle for a pardon from the family of his victim, which saw his impended execution delayed.

Hadi bin Kadamah was imprisoned in 1992 for the murder of his cousin in Asir province, southwest Saudi Arabia.

He argued after he stabbed his cousin he brought him to the hospital in a bid to save his life and never intended to kill him.

Bin Kadamah's repeated pleas to his victim's family for mercy led to his 28 year detention - making him the longest serving prisoner in the kingdom, according to Saudi media.

He wrote a letter to Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman begging for a pardon.

"I introduce myself to you; I am your brother, prisoner Hadi Bin Saud Bin Kadamah Al Sharif Al Hababi. I appeal to you to stand with me in my misfortune and help me to get pardoned and released," he wrote in the letter, according to Gulf News.

"The dispute between us turned into an exchange of several stabs. When my cousin fell on the ground, he was still alive. I took him to the nearest medical facility in Dhahran where he succumbed to his wounds."

On Tuesday, local leader Prince Turki Bin Talal and southern tribal heads made a final appeal to the victim's family to save the life of the condemned.

The pleas and offer of blood money were rejected and bin Kadamah was put to death later on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia is one of the most profilic executioners in the world, with the death penalty applicable for a variety of crimes and usually carried out by the beheading.

Despite Crown Prince Mohammed's bid to portray himself as a reformer in the west, the executions of large numbers of convicts continues, including those who have not committed lethal crimes.

Saudi Arabia carried out a record number of executions in 2019, according to Amnesty International, putting to death 184 people.

"Saudi Arabia's growing use of the death penalty, including as a weapon against political dissidents, is an alarming development," said Clare Algar, Amnesty International's Senior Director for Research, Advocacy and Policy, in a statement.

The families of 37 of those executed said they had still not received the bodies of their loved ones months after they were put to death.

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