calendar Wednesday, 14 April 2021 clock
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Fakhri Al Andalusi with his mother.

DOHA: Tunisian President Kais Saied has thanked Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for delaying the execution of a Tunisian citizen in Qatar who was convicted of murder after the issue caused a stir in Tunisia and among the Tunisian community in Qatar.

A young Tunisian, Fakhri Al Andalusi, was scheduled to be executed on Thursday at 5 am but the case became viral after he called Radio Jawhara, a leading Tunisian radio station, pleading for help after he was served notice of the execution.

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Fakhri’s call was telecast live by the radio station stirring up an entire country and triggering a social media campaign forcing President Kais Saied to intervene in the case. Kais telephoned the Amir requesting a postponement of the death sentence.

Fakhri’s mother, who is in Qatar, had also appealed to the Qatari authorities to acquit her son and issued a video thanking the Qatari authorities.

“The President of the Republic extends his sincere thanks to his brother H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for his deep humanity, which is reflected in the sincere brotherly relations between the two people and between President Kais Saied and his brother Amir of Qatar,” a statement issued by the Tunisian president’s office said.

Alternative punishment

The death sentence has been postponed until 1 May, 2021, “provided an alternative punishment is considered in the meantime”, Tunisian media reported.

Apparently, Fakhri was given a phone to call his mother and relatives before the execution, but he called the radio station and pleaded innocence.

He was convicted of murder by a Qatari court and the chargesheet also said he has links with ISIS, according to Tunisian media.

The news was one of the main headlines in Tunisian media today.

The Tunisian community in Qatar, which has been closely following the case, erupted with joy and gratitude at the postponement of the death sentence in several social media groups.

“I thank Kais Saied  and His Highness Sheikh Tamim and all Tunisians in Tunisia and Qatar and everyone who spoke for my son,” the mother of Fakhri Al Andalusi said in a video posted on Facebook.

“Thank you, Mr President, for your intervention, and this is what we expect from you as the protector of Tunisia and Tunisians. Thanks also to our Qatari brothers for understanding.” Riadh Jaidane wrote on Facebook.

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