Keralites crowdfund Rs 35.45 cr to save man on death row in Saudi; CM Vijayan hails "Real Kerala story"

    The Hawk
    April13/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan applauds global Malayali community's humanitarian effort in raising Rs 35.45 crore through crowdfunding to save Kozhikode native Abdul Rahim, employed as a house driver, from the death penalty in Saudi Arabia after 18 years in prison.

    Abdul Rahim

    Kozhikode (Kerala): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has lauded the efforts of Malayalis from across the globe who rallied together to raise Rs 35.45 crore through a crowd-funding campaign to secure the release of Kohzikode native Abdul Rahim, who has been in jail for more than 18 years in Saudi Arabia and facing a death penalty.
    Vijayan took to social media to say, "When the propagandists of hatred spread lies against the state, the Malayalees are raising their defence through stories of humanity and philanthropy. For the release of Abdul Rahim, a native of Kozhikode who was sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia, Malayalees all over the world have joined hands and collected 34 crore rupees."

    Abdul Rahim employed as a house driver of a Saudi citizen and the caretaker of a 15- year-old disabled boy. In Rahim's version of the fatal incident, while travelling with the boy one day, Rahim stopped the vehicle at a red light. When the boy demanded Rahim violate the red signal, he accidentally hit and dislodged the tube of a life-support device attached to the boy's body after which the boy fell unconscious and died.
    Rahim was sentenced to death in 2018 under Saudi law for murder and although the victim's family was adamant about the death penalty until the last moment, they eventually agreed to pardoning him if he paid 'blood money' of 15 million Saudi riyals.

    The legal action committee that organised the crowdfunding to save Abdur Rahim, thanked the people of the state and said that the collection of funds has stopped and no one should send any more money.
    The committee set up an app called 'SAVEABDULRAHIM' to collect the amount. More than Rs 30 crore were collected through the app, which was set up and the fundraising target was achieved by adding the amount received offline.
    The social media campaign was driven by posts and requests to aid the release of Abdul Rahim. Many influencers, NRIs, businessmen, and social activists headed the campaign on social media to ensure he returned home after 18 years.
    The committee said that it will contact the Indian Embassy in Riyadh to help secure Rahim's release before the April 15 deadline.
    The Kerala Chief Minister also called the initiative, "a noble example of human love."
    "To save a human life, to shed tears of a family, they created. This is the real Kerala story. This is a firm declaration that Kerala is a fortress of brotherhood that cannot be broken by communalism. We heartily appreciate all the goodwill that has united for this cause which has made Kerala proud in front of the world. The role played by expatriate Malayalis behind this initiative is commendable. Let us move forward with one mind, stronger for this unity," the Chief Minister said.