AL-KHOBAR – Al-Khobar District Court postponed the trial of Henna Sarkees, a Lebanese man who is accused of converting a Saudi girl to Christianity and helping her flee the country. The Lebanese man has been sent back to prison as the case was adjourned.
Saudi media reported last week that the Saudi woman had embraced Christianity and fled the country for refuge in Lebanon. She was shown on an Arabic TV channel saying she was tired of performing prayers and fasting during Ramadan. The woman, who said her name was Maryam, said praying and fasting did not bring her any benefits.
She also criticized the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (the Hai’a) and claimed that she was raised to hate Judaism and Christianity but fell in love with the religions after she found peace in Christianity.
However, the 30-year-old woman denied that she appeared on a Christian TV channel and said the girl who appeared on the show was an Iraqi pretending to be a Saudi. She has since, allegedly fled to Sweden and said she was still Muslim.
The woman’s family has said Sarkees and another Saudi man worked with their daughter at a bank. It is alleged that both men played a role in her conversion and subsequent escape to Lebanon.
Humood Al-Khaldi, lawyer and legal consultant, said he is ready to take the case pro bono.
“This is a strange case as it affects our Islamic values. The ruling of apostasy in Islam is clear; however, the roles played by the two men, the Saudi and Lebanese, in making the girl become Christian should be taken into consideration,” he said.
“As for the family’s request to convict the two men in the case, the court should make sure first that the girl was coerced into converting to Christianity and fleeing the country. The pertinent court will decide on this matter,” he added.