Home biography This cute Princess was painfully executed with lover in saudi Arabia. Here...

This cute Princess was painfully executed with lover in saudi Arabia. Here is why

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In 1980, a drama was screened in the UK which was to reshape perceptions of Saudi Arabia, a key Middle East ally. Death of a Princess followed the short life of Princess Mishael, a 19-year-old Saudi princess who was publicly executed, along with her lover, after she was caught attempting to flee the kingdom and then confessed to the affair.

With the story Saudi runaway Rahaf al-Qunun recently making headlines, it has been a stark reminder that the issues raised in the documentary-drama Death of a Princess remain relevant today.

Princess Mishael’s execution is said to have led to the establishment of Saudi Arabia’s strict guardianship rules, which forbids Saudi women from leaving the country without the permission of a male guardian

Why was she executed

Princess Mishaal’s family sent her, at her own request, to Beirut, Lebanon, to attend school. While there, she fell in love with a man, Khaled al Sha’er Muhalhal, the nephew of Ali Hassan al Shaer, the Saudi ambassador in Lebanon, and they began an affair. Upon their return to Saudi Arabia, it emerged that they had conspired to meet alone on several occasions and a charge of adultery was brought against them.

She attempted to fake her own drowning and was caught trying to escape from Saudi Arabia with Khaled. Although the Princess was disguised as a man, she was recognized by a passport examiner at Jeddah airport. She was subsequently returned to her family. Under the Sharia law current in Saudi Arabia, a person can be convicted of adultery only by the testimony of four adult male witnesses to the act of penetration, or by their own admission of guilt, stating four times in court “I have committed adultery.”[citation needed] Her family urged her not to confess but instead merely to promise never to see her lover again. On her return to the courtroom, she repeated her confession: “I have committed adultery. I have committed adultery. I have committed adultery.”

On 15 July 1977, both Mishaal and Khaled were publicly executed in Jeddah by the side of the Queen’s Building in the park. She was blindfolded, made to kneel, and executed on the explicit instructions of her grandfather, a senior member of the royal family, for the dishonor that she had brought on her clan. Khaled, after being forced to watch her execution, was beheaded with a sword by, it is believed, one of the princess’ male relatives rather than by a professional executioner. Severing his head took five blows. Both executions were conducted near the palace in Jeddah, not in Deera Square

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