STATEMENTS

Saudis flee as repression intensifies, khalifis incensed by factual film

The Saudi repression against citizens especially human rights activists has driven hundreds to flee from the country. Their aim is to protect themselves from execution, torture, prison, and unjust sentences, to freely engage in politics, human rights and media activities. They were driven to these extra measures to avoid the wrath of the present king Salman and his son known as MBS. After the government rid itself of internal activists and destroyed the structure of independent civil society, it turned to activists abroad to complete its repressive plan to stop the remaining voices from speaking freely. The government has used various methods to silence dissent. The case of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey, exposed Saudi Arabia’s intentions and methods against political activists. Now the authorities have adopted revenge from the families of the activists in order to silence them.

In recent weeks prominent Saudi cleric Ali Al-Omari was again subjected to torture at his prison in Riyadh. Bloggers have revealed that Al-Omari was subjected to “more brutal” torture than he had before. On 24 May 2018, a Twitter account said that Saudi TV 24 was preparing to broadcast an interview which was conducted after a round of torture and it included Al-Omari’s admitting that he is a “terrorist” because he apparently belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood group. This group includes Sheikh Salman Al-Ouda, Awad Al-Qarni, Abdel-Aziz Al-Fawzan, Jamal Khashoggi and others. The interview was conducted in 2018, but it was not broadcasted because of Khashoggi’s assassination.

A Saudi blogger received humiliating reception in Jerusalem as he toured the occupied territories claiming to be promoting “peace” between the native Palestinians and the Zionist occupiers. Mohammad Saud was set upon by Palestinian youth as he walked in the old market of Jerusalem. As he did not show any remorse he was subjected to more attacks by the youths. There was an immediate Arab outrage against the visit which is part of the Saudi initiatives to forge peace with Israelis. Video of the incident shows a child spitting on Mohammed Saud as he visited the holy site, while others yell at him to leave. In another clip, chairs and other objects are thrown at Saud as he walks through one of the Old City’s alleys. He was encouraged on his trip by the new Saudi policy of normalising relations with “Israel” and several visits by Al Saud emissaries to Tel Aviv.

Despite the Saudi new policies of liberalising the country, artists have shunned the house of Saud for its repression and absolute form of dictatorship. The most recent snub came from Trinidadian rapper, Nicki Minaj who told the Associated Press news agency: after “careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest”. “I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women and freedom of expression,” she said..

In Bahra, khalifi dictators have started to take revenge from their opponents who spoke to Al Jazeera news channel about the situation. The programme titled (Players with fire) exposed regime’s lies to undermine the people’s revolution in 2011. Those who appeared in the programme have been targeted for abuse, character assassination and threats and smear campaigns against their families. Revenge, not the rule of law is the norm.

Political prisoner, Hussain Al Sahlawi has been subjected to a horrific attack by one of the torturers. Hiding behind the name “Abu Hassan”, the khalifi torturer attacked Mr Al Sahlawi viciously, pulling his hair and beating him. Then he transferred him to solitary confinement. Mr Al Sahlawi had asked for medical care for his hand and two puffed eyes. The victim’s body is riddled with shotgun wounds sustained in one of the peaceful protests few years ago. Despite continuing his hunger strike for 35 days, political prisoner Mohammad Al Singace has remained defiant and resolute in his demand to be given medical treatment and freed. Two days ago he is reported to have collapsed after suffering a bout of sickle cell syndrome. He was transferred to the hospital. His family has expressed grave concern for his life. He has now collapsed three times since he started his hunger strike. Another prisoner of conscience, Mohammad Sarhan, has been transferred to solitary confinement for objecting to the bad conditions of the jail, overcrowding and lack of medical care. When he started explaining the situation to the torturers they sat upon him causing him enormous bodily harm. First he was abused, beaten and abused. Then he was transferred to solitary confinement as punishment for speaking to the police gangs roaming the jails and asking them to improve the conditions of the jail.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

24th July 2019 (info@vob.orgwww.vob.org)

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