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When Keralites across globe raised Rs 34 crore to save Kozhikode man from death sentence in Saudi

Abdul Rahim. Image Credit: Facebook

Keralites across the world have shown how compassionate they are by coming together to raise Rs 34 crore (15 million Saudi Riyals) in blood money required to save a Kozhikode native, Machilakath Peediyekkal Abdul Rahim, from a death sentence.

It all began when a few local residents at the native place of Abdul Rahim in Feroke, Kozhikode, formed an action committee to raise the blood money to save him. They also launched an app called “Save Abdul Rahim” which was downloaded by thousands of people to spread awareness about saving Abdul Rahim from the death penalty. Reports say that though the family of Abdul Rahim came to know about the April 18 deadline fixed by a Saudi court to pay the blood money two weeks late, the coordinated effort by the Keralites across the world resulted in raising Rs 34 crore before the deadline.

The movement to raise the money gathered momentum with several celebrities and social media influencers coming out in support of the cause. Rahim, an auto driver from Feroke, Kozhikode, reached Saudi Arabia in 2006 seeking better prospects. He was employed as a house driver in Riyadh for a Saudi family, where he was also the caretaker of a disabled 15-year-old boy.

Rahim was sentenced to death by a Saudi court after he was convicted for causing the death of the boy. As per media reports, the boy had died after Rahim accidentally touched a medical device attached to the boy’s shoulder while they were both travelling in a car. The boy and Rahim allegedly had an altercation inside the car after the boy urged Rahim to jump a red light signal. Accidentally, Rahim touched the device that helped the boy to breathe, which fell inside the car and eventually led to the boy’s death.

The Saudi court confirmed Rahim’s death sentence in 2018 after the boy’s family refused to grant amnesty. Though Rahim, who has been in jail for the last 16 years, appealed the lower court order, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence in 2022. However, his execution was temporarily put on hold after the deceased boy’s family finally agreed to accept the blood money.

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