In a case that has generated international condemnation, a Sudanese man was executed in Saudi Arabia for using "sorcery and witchcraft". Abdul Hamid bin Hussein Mostafa al-Fakki, a 36-year old migrant worker was arrested on December 8, 2005 by members of Saudi Arabia's Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) and accused of practicing sorcery. According to evidence against him, Abdul Hamid had reportedly agreed to provide a member of the CPVPV with a spell designed to ensure that the man's father would leave his second wife and return to his first wife (the man's mother). He was said to have agreed to cast the spell in exchange for 6,000 Saudi Arabian riyals (approximately $1600 US). Following his arrest, Abdul Hamid was reportedly questioned and beaten until he confessed to acts of sorcery. During the time that he was awaiting trial at Medina Prison, his elderly parents attempted to appeal the case to Sudanese authorities to no avail. Following a trial was held without legal representation and behind closed doors, he was sentenced to death on March 27, 2007.
Despite letter-writing campaigns by international advocacy groups such as Amnesty International, the execution took place on September 19. Abdul Hamid's execution is one of 44 that have occurred in Saudi Arabia this year (15 in May alone). While capital punishment can occur for a range of offenses under Saudi law, executions for witchcraft or sorcery remain rare in the Middle East. Anti-witch accusations are far more common in Africa and India.