On Campus

Students pressure Ottawa to help Montreal-area man facing Saudi beheading

As Mohamed Kohail awaits an appeal on his death sentence in Saudi Arabia, students at his former school are keeping up pressure on the Canadian government.Students at Place Cartier school in the Montreal suburb of Beaconsfield have collected more than 600 names on a petition calling on the Canadian government to make sure Kohail receives fair and impartial treatment from the Saudi legal system.

Kohail, 23, has been ordered beheaded after a Saudi court convicted him March 3 of murder in the death of a man in a schoolyard brawl. His brother Sultan Kohail, 17, has been sentenced to 200 lashes and one year in jail for his part in the fight.

The Kohails are appealing both sentences.

Barry Gaiptman, the adult education centre’s guidance counsellor, is spearheading the campaign to help Mohamed Kohail and pressure the Canadian government.

Gaiptman and the students plan to meet Thursday in Ottawa with Bernard Patry, their Liberal MP, to get the petition tabled in the House of Commons.

Gaiptman told a school assembly on Wednesday he wants to send the message there are people in Montreal who haven’t forgotten Kohail.

“He desperately needs to know that he is not alone,” Gaiptman told gathered students. “He desperately needs to know that he is in our thoughts.

“We’re going to do whatever it takes. We are not going to stop until we can safely see Mohamed and his family return to Montreal and living amongst us.”

He said students are also considering following up the petition with a letter-writing campaign to MPs.

-with a report from CP 

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