A court in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday repealed the death sentence for a stateless Palestinian poet convicted of apostasy, cutting his punishment to eight years in prison and 800 lashes, his lawyer said. Ashraf Fayadh’s lawyer said on Twitter the court “overturned the previous sentence to execute him for apostasy.” The decision comes after the kingdom sparked international outrage with the executions of 153 people in 2015, its highest number in two decades. Fayadh’s lawyer, Abdul Rahman al-Lahim, said his client was also sentenced to public repentance through an official announcement. Lahim said he objects to the new ruling and has asked for Fayadh’s release. A lower court sentenced Fayadh to death on an apostasy conviction in November, overturning a 2014 sentence of four years in jail and 800 lashes.
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