tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Save Mohamed Kohail: Update February 2009

Earlier this month, the fate of Mohamed Kohail for the first time in 2 years looked infinitesimally sunnier after the Supreme Judicial Council of Saudi Arabia decided against upholding the death sentence against the Canadian citizen, his brother Sultan, and a third co-defendant who is Jordanian.

The Council asked the lower court to revisit its ruling and death sentence. This is not the same thing as the Supreme Council rejecting the death sentence; by not upholding the ruling the Supreme Council is basically asking the lower court: "Are you sure?" The Kohails are far from in the clear.

[Brief background: the Kohail bros. are on death row in Saudi Arabia for allegedly causing the death of a schoolmate in a brawl in January 2007. They are Canadian citizens of Palestinian origin. Find out more in our Tuque Souq Mohamed Kohail bureau.]

Liberal MP Dan McTeague (Pickering-Scarborough East) is Parliament's point man on the negotiations to free the Kohails (at least from the clutches of the Saudi justice system). Click here to send the Hon. McTeague an email, encouraging him to step it up and free these boys on death row.

Also, an update on an item we mentioned in an earlier Kohail post:
There is an online petition for clemency for Rizana Nafeek, the Sri Lankan national who is facing the death penalty in Saudi Arabia for allegedly causing the death of an infant she was babysitting; Rizana was 17 at the time. According to the Asian Human Rights Commission, Ms Nafeek is very ill in prison and must undergo surgery while awaiting the outcome of her trial.

[Also not so unrelated: this press release from the Canadian Association of Journalists came across the wire today about freelance Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout, who is still missing and presumed kidnapped in Somalia for 6 months now.]

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