Indian Man on Death Row in Saudi to be Released

This 44-year-old is all set to taste freedom after fellow-Keralites came to his aid.

Jul 3, 2024 - 18:07
Indian Man on Death Row in Saudi to be Released

In a landmark judgement, an Indian national is soon to be released from a prison in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh after 18 years. Abdul Raheem, who hails from the Kazhikode district of Kerala, was awaiting execution in a case involving the accidental death of a Saudi adolescent. But miraculously, the concerned criminal court has not only revoked the prisoner’s death sentence, but will soon set him free as well. It looks like the man’s long-held breath of hope can finally be released.

In 2006, Raheem who was working as a chauffeur for a family in Riyadh, was accused of criminal negligence while being entrusted with the care of their sickly 15-year-old boy. Apparently, Raheem had not noticed that while he was driving the family’s car, the paralyzed passenger’s life support system had come undone. This oversight on Rahim’s part evidently caused the child’s suffocation and death, leading to the former’s arrest, conviction and sentencing.

Having an apparent change of heart, the bereaved family decided to pardon the accused in 2023. But the reprieve came at a heavy price. So, just how much was the "blood money" tag that the family had nodded to? 15 Million Saudi Riyals! That amount translates to almost USD 4 million or approximately Rs. 34 Crore! But in an act testament to how supportive Malayalis (of Kerala and the Gulf) are toward each other, the proverbial hat went around till the desired sum was collected and handed over. Thanks to this life-saving “crowdfunding”, it certainly looks like being Malayali pays off. Quite literally.