Saudi Authorities Target Families of Activists: Deprived of Life!

By al-Ahed

Beirut – The Saudi authorities continue their escalatory policies to silence any voice demanding rights and justice. In the context of tightening the grip on peaceful activists, the Saudi regime continues its oppressive measures against their families. It is preventing the families of those “wanted” from basic services, punishing them for their rightful activism.

According to information obtained by al-Ahed news, the Saudi authorities are banning families of activists from the governmental services, as well as depriving them of traveling or obtaining any personal document such as a passport or an identity card.

The families are also deprived of issuing identity and health cards belonging to their children, making it impossible for them to receive any kind of medical treatment or even entering hospitals.

The measures are practiced against the mothers, fathers, siblings, wives and children of those “wanted”, and include the educational services, banning them even from registering them at schools.

Not to mention, they are also being targeted financially as they are not allowed to renew their bank cards once they are expired, leading eventually to close their entire bank accounts, and logically, stop their living and daily affairs…

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Farage vs. Corbyn – Richie Allen and Gilad Atzmon delve into the post-political condition

May 24, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

Richie is joined by the musician, author and political commentator Gilad Atzmon. In a provocative and insightful article on gilad.co.uk this week, Gilad writes; “How it is that once again a right wing populist has won the minds and hearts of working people? How is it possible that Jeremy Corbyn, who was perceived by many of us as the greatest hope in Western politics, has managed, in less than three years, to make himself an irrelevant passing phase? How is it possible that the Right consistently wins when the conditions exist for a textbook socialist revolution? Nigel Farage, Britain’s Donald Trump character, is by far the most significant man in British politics. Farage stood up against the entire political establishment, including the media and the commercial elites and has promised to change British politics once and for all. So far, it seems he is winning on all fronts.” This is a must-listen interview.

Support The Richie Allen Show by donating at www.richieallen.co.uk Richie has been producing and presenting television and radio programs for the best part of twenty years. The Richie Allen Show airs Monday – Thursday at 5 PM GMT and at 11 AM UK Time each Sunday.


My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

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War on Qatif: Demolishing Al-Thawra Neighborhood, The Cradle of Peaceful Protests…

By Latifa al-Husseini

The Saudi authorities are escalating their arbitrary measures against the people of al-Qatif eastern province and its towns. Random detentions, executions and raids in the eastern province contradict all humanitarian, ethical, rights and internationally-recognized legal standards.

The Saudi security apparatuses are implementing the royal orders they are receiving, imposing the rulings militarily and violently against safe civilians at their homes, those civilians who don’t enjoy the freedom of objecting to those tyrannical rulings.

The regime’s scheme goes beyond oppressing the opposition members or those trying to voice objection to the Al Saud’s family. The issue is way more dangerous as the information obtained from inside Saudi Arabia suggest a sectarian proposal the Saudi regime tends to apply in al-Qatif against its people’s will.

An insider source told al-Ahed News that the “security sources are on the brink of razing hundreds of houses inside Qatif, namely those located in al-Thawra Street to displace thousands of residents like the issue of razing the al-Mosawara neighborhood back in 2017.”

Apparently, the Saudi authorities claim implementing a developmental plan that includes charitable projects, in an attempt to gain some popular support, but what is hidden is worse. The source stresses to al-Ahed that in this context, “the Saudi regime seeks to change the Shia demographic formation in the region to weaken the biggest portion of the people; the original landowners, by nationalizing foreigners and intruders.”

The source further links the anticipated plan with the popular movement of 2012. What is meant here is to eliminate the symbolism it used to represent, especially that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman seeks to muzzle people and silence any voice of opposition by detaining or killing them afar from the judicial system.”

“The goal behind destroying houses and displacing their people is way beyond the Saudi media claims of chasing terrorist groups, according to them. The issue, as simple as it is, is that the Saudi regime is waging a sectarian war under the strategy of dominating people by dividing them, in which it is distracting the people with “reformative” religious instructions, although it is manipulating the governance as well as the people’s resources and wealth,” the source tells al-Ahed.

According to the source, the direct responsible for the scheme of razing the houses is the King and his heir. “The scheme is managed, under their order, by their affiliated spies and tradesmen in al-Qatif. They want to harm all walks of the people living inside those houses, including the youths who long for obtaining the simplest aspects of a dignified life Al Saud has stolen from them by force someday; the families of the activists who took to the al-Thawra street in 2011.”

While people were informed about the scheme, the source explains that “there were reports on those malicious intents, but the people refused to leave their houses for many reasons, including that the compensations supposed to be paid for them are not convenient with the inflation as well as hiking house prices. Hence, the family that leaves its home cannot buy another one with the amount of money it will receive in exchange of the razing; they can only rent a house.”

The source affirms that the “Saudi regime doesn’t care for those issues, it only continue its oppression by destroying and razing houses against their owners’ wills.”

The provided information signal a scheme similar to previous ones in other neighborhoods and streets. The historic al-Mosawara neighborhood is a good evidence to remember.

 

To read the Arabic version click here

The Chilling Message of the Saudi Executions: Colorado Writer

Saudi flag

Terence Ward

May 9, 2019

Terence Ward is a Colorado-born writer, documentarist, and cross-cultural consultant. He grew up in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt, and received his BA in political science at the University of California at Berkeley. For 10 years, he advised clients across the Gulf — Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia conducting management consulting projects and seminars. Ward is also the author of the books “Searching for Hassan” and “The Wahhabi Code: How the Saudis Spread Extremism Globally.”

A couple of weeks have passed since the dramatic beheadings of 37 Saudi citizens that shocked the world. According to Human Rights Watch, at least 33 of those who were executed were from the minority Shia community — which has suffered a long history of persecution in Saudi Arabia.

With the Kingdom facing mounting criticism over bombing deaths and starvation in the Yemen war, imprisoned and reportedly tortured women activists, and the grisly murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, many wonder why Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud offered critics another human rights issue? But these executions served a clear purpose to strike fear in the Saudi Shia population while rallying the royal family’s ultra-conservative Wahhabi – the official creed of the Kingdom fundamentalist base. In the end, to be Shia in Saudi Arabia has always been a complicated affair.

Few Americans know that Wahhabism, a branch of Sunni Islam, looks down on Shia Muslims as apostates. Violence against Shia communities is deeply rooted in the Saudi Kingdom’s DNA. Like African Americans in the Deep South, the Shia have suffered discrimination and suspicion from the Wahhabi ruling elite since the founding of the country in 1932.

Those who were executed in April included protestors who were arrested and convicted of terror-related crimes during the Arab Spring demonstrations in 2011 and 2012. However, the human rights group Amnesty International said the legal proceedings “violated international fair trial standards which relied on confessions extracted through torture.”

According to trial documents obtained by CNN, some of the men repeatedly told the court that their confessions were false and obtained through torture.

When Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman rose to power in 2017, there was some hope that the Salman dynasty would usher in reforms. However, anti-Shia rhetoric persisted. For example, the hardline cleric Saleh al-Fawzan, a member of the state-sponsored Council of Senior Scholars, claimed in 2017, that the Shia are infidels and that anyone who disagrees is also an infidel.

And al-Fawzan has also said that political dissidents who disagree with the Kingdom rulers should be put to death.

The disappearance and murder of Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, fell in line with the intentions of al-Fawzan’s rhetoric.

The CIA later concluded that King Salman’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered his killing.

The Saudi government has repeatedly denied the allegations, although the US Senate voted to condemn the young prince for Khashoggi’s grisly fate.

While Khashoggi’s death sparked international outrage, the Trump administration steered clear of assigning blame, and many businesses have quietly continued their plans for expansion there.

Amid inflammatory rhetoric against Iran a country dominated by Shia — coming from the White House, King Salman seemed encouraged to send a clear message of terror to his restive Shia citizens.

In doing so, the Saudi government seems to be ignoring the increased pressures it has recently faced on numerous fronts. Congress defied President Donald Trump in voting to suspend military aid for the kingdom’s war in Yemen. The state-owned oil company Aramco’s called off its initial public offering, while investors have reportedly pulled funding for MBS’ ambitious economic plan called Vision 2030.

To counter these setbacks, King Salman has drawn inspiration from the earliest days of the Saud dynasty to secure his most loyal followers the archconservative Wahhabi faithful. Historical persecution of the Shias has been the life-blood of the Wahhabi sect that was borne in central Arabia more than 250 years ago. For centuries, the Shia who lived along the Persian Gulf suffered violence from Wahhabi believers, who labeled them infidels.

During my childhood in Dhahran, when my father worked at Saudi Aramco from 1952-1960, I witnessed persecution of Shia who call the oil-rich eastern province, known as Al-Ahsa, their home. Our friends lived in oasis towns where Shia communities have dwelled for centuries. The sad fact is that the staggering oil wealth that poured into Riyadh was siphoned away from the Eastern Province.

Little was spent in the Shia communities, yet they have represented the majority of Saudi manpower in Aramco — now likely the world’s most profitable company.

Instead of benefiting from the profits of vast oil fields that lay under historically Shia lands, they have been treated as second-class citizens since Ibn Saud, who would eventually go on to found Saudi Arabia, and his family conquered their homeland in 1913. Even today, some Shia friends of mine call it “religious apartheid.”

When I returned as a management consultant to Saudi Arabia in the 1980’s, clerics had condemned mixing between Sunnis and Shia as well as intermarriage.

In numerous religious rulings, the late grand mufti, Abdulaziz Bin Baz, condemned the Shia community. Bin Baz’s religious rulings are still available in the kingdom’s official database and are often cited in Saudi court rulings, which are based on Islamic law.

More recently, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars said that Shia Muslims were “not our brothers … rather they are the brothers of Satan…”, according to Human Rights Watch.

Because of the historic conflict with the Shia community, the execution orders handed down by Saudi magistrates in April were expected.

But larger questions remain. Will MBS truly bring change and a more moderate Islam? Or do these April beheadings signal continued anti-Shia sentiment?

Is the Crown Prince trying to spark a conflict with Iran mother country of the Shia? And will this plunge America and the region into yet another unconstitutional war? Given the Saudi history of aiding and abetting extremists while claiming to be their enemy, should America be wary of being lured into another conflict? We should be very wary.

Recently, US National Security Adviser John Bolton announced that an aircraft carrier strike group with a bomber task force had been deployed to the Persian Gulf to deter Iran.

The royal Saud family may be gambling that America will come to its rescue and plunge the US into, yet again, another war, in what would be another trillion-dollar debacle. The truth is that America is extremely efficient at starting wars but dramatically incompetent at ending them.

Any aggression against Iran risks rupturing ties with Europe and in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, while provoking conflict with both Russia and China. If shooting erupts, the narrow Strait of Hormuz — the gateway in and out of the Persian Gulf — will surely be closed to oil tankers until the guns are silent. Lights of the industrial world will dim. It will be a time for lighting candles, unless cooler heads prevail. Perhaps this is a moment to stand up to the Saudi royals, (after the unpleasant experiences with al-Qaeda and ISIS — both Wahhabi inspired) and not be lured in yet again to another conflagration without end.

 

Source: CNN

US Commission: Saudi Arabia Is Top Violator of Religious Freedom

By Staff, MEE

The US State Department designated Saudi Arabia as one of the world’s “worst violators” of religious freedoms, even as Riyadh remains one of Washington’s top allies in the region.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom [USCIRF] released its 2019 report on Monday listing Saudi Arabia in the tier one category of countries that implement severe violations of religious freedom.

The annual report, released by the bipartisan organization created two decades ago, highlights the discrimination that Shia Muslims and Christians face in the country.

“Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia continue to face discrimination in education, employment, and the judiciary, and lack access to senior positions in the government and military,” the 234-page report said.

“As a matter of law, the Saudi government bans the public practice of non-Muslim faiths by citizens and expatriates alike. While the Saudi government has stated repeatedly that non-Muslims who are not converts from Islam may practice their religion in private, this policy has not been codified,” the reported added.

Last week, Saudi Arabia executed 37 people on ‘terrorism’ charges.

Thirty-two of those executed were from Saudi Arabia’s Shia minority and a number of them were juveniles when they were arrested, including a teenager who had planned to study in the US.

The US placed Saudi Arabia as one of the world’s top “countries of particular concern” or CPCs in November 2018.

However, Johnnie Moore, USCIRF’s commissioner who wrote the profile on Saudi Arabia, said promoting “punitive measures” against the kingdom would be counterproductive.

“Such punitive measures could likely have the effect of forcing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to engage directly and more seriously with countries where religious freedom is not a consideration at all in their foreign policy priorities,” he said.

The State Department recommends granting Saudi Arabia a special waiver because the country is an “important interest to the United States”, the report said.

Saudi Arabia and the US share a deep alliance. The US purchases Saudi oil while the kingdom has ordered billions of dollars of arms from the United States.

Saudi Arabia was the first overseas country visited by US President Donald Trump after he became president in 2017, and his visit to Riyadh came just weeks before Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their allies initiated a blockade of Qatar.

Trump has continued to stress the importance of the US alliance with Saudi Arabia even after the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which prompted near global condemnation.

US Politicians, Journos, Activists Condemn Saudi Arabia’s Mass Beheadings

By Staff, Agencies

Human rights groups have hit out at the most recent brutal wave of punishment, revealed by the Saudis on Wednesday, in which 37 people killed.

Critics say the majority of those executed were convicted after sham trials that violated international standards and relied on confessions extracted through torture.

They also say the grisly and public punishments are being used as tools to crush pro-democracy campaigners, human rights activists, intellectuals and the Shia minority — to which at least 33 of those executed belonged to.

The mass execution was also denounced by a number of American politicians and journalists. Below are a few statements that went viral on social media:

Senator Dianne Feinstein: an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from California.

I’m deeply troubled by the Saudi government’s mass execution of 37 prisoners, including 33 members of the kingdom’s Shiite minority. Human Rights Watch has reported that many of the confessions in two mass trials were obtained using torture and the prisoners later recanted.

I’ve called for the US to reconsider our relationship with Saudi Arabia and spoken out against the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom’s oppression of women’s rights activists and the numerous human rights violations committed by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

These latest reports reinforce my concerns. We can’t look way from Saudi Arabia’s increased use of executions, particularly when so many questions surround the validity of the trials.

 

Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard: US Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district.

Trump/Pence continue to try to hide the truth from their Christian supporters–the terrorist attacks on Christians/Christian churches in Sri Lanka and elsewhere are inspired by the extremist Saudi ideology that Saudi Arabia spends billions propagating worldwide

The tweet also had a video pointing that the Saudis have been spending billions of dollars spreading an “intolerant form of Islam,” which she said inspires terrorist groups such as al Qaeda, the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”], and Boko Haram.

“It’s an ideology that preaches hatred and bias toward Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and atheists, and Muslims who are not followers of that extremist ideology,” Gabbard said. “Yet President Trump and Pence, who pose as defenders of Christians and Christianity, have embraced the Saudis, the purveyors of this anti-Christian jihad.”

Gabbard concluded her video by saying people who believe “in the freedom of religion must demand that President Trump and Vice President Pence give up their unholy alliance with Saudi Arabia.”

 

Ilhan Omar: US Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district.

This is appalling. We have to stop selling the Saudis weapons and supporting this brutality.

 

Rashida Tlaib: US Representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district.

Saudi Arabia’s ruler MBS tortures & executes children. Already this year, he has killed 100 people. At least 3 today were arrested as teenagers & tortured into false confessions. He killed them for attending protests! Think about that.

 

Bernie Sanders: US politician and junior United States Senator from Vermont

Yesterday’s mass execution underscores how urgent it has become for the United States to redefine our relationship with the despotic regime in Saudi Arabia, and to show that the Saudis do not have a blank check to continue violating human rights and dictating our foreign policy.

 

Nicholas Kristof: American journalist and political commentator, New York Times Op-Ed Columnist.

Student slated to attend Western Michigan University beheaded in Saudi Arabia, after attending a pro-democracy protest. Remind me, @realDonaldTrump, why are we best buddies with Saudi Arabia?

 

Niraj Warikoo: an American journalist and the religion reporter for the Detroit Free Press.

Mujtaba al-Sweikat, a student slated to attend Western Michigan University, is beheaded in Saudi Arabia. He had been arrested when he was 17 by Saudis in 2012 after taking part in democracy rallies, and tortured while in custody.

 

Seth Abramson: an American professor, poet, attorney, and author.

Now MBS has beheaded a freshman acceptee to Western Michigan University.

 

Kenneth Roth: an American attorney who has been the executive director of Human Rights Watch since 1993.

Among the 37 men just executed by the Saudi government was Mujtaba al-Sweikat who at age 17 was detained at the airport on his way to attend Western Michigan University. His supposed offense was attending a pro-democracy rally during the Arab Spring.

 

Randi Weingarten: an American labor leader, attorney, and educator.

“.@AFTunion joins the international human rights community in condemning the government of #SaudiArabia for forced confessions, torture, beatings and now execution of young student protestor Mujtaba al-Sweikat. @Reprieve @amnesty @AFTIntlAffairs”

 

Lena Sun: the national reporter for The Washington Post.

One of the people executed on Tuesday was arrested at an airport in Saudi Arabia in 2012 as he was preparing to leave the country for a college visit to Western Michigan University, a human rights group said. He was 17 at the time.

 

Steven Metz: an American author and Senior Research Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute

America needs to limit ties with that dark and backward despotism.

 

Jesse Singal: a Brooklyn-based journalist

This is an utterly horrific regime and in a world that made more sense no US president of any party would feel comfortable getting filmed gladhanding with its tyrants. Student slated to attend Western Michigan University beheaded in Saudi Arabia.

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UN Saudi Kingdom of Execution

AI: Saudi’s Mass Execution is a Chilling Demonstration of the Authorities’ Callous Disregard for Human Life

By Staff, Agencies

United Nations human rights Chief Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday strongly condemned the executions of 37 Saudi men beheaded in six cities across the kingdom a day before, a statement said.

Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry said on Tuesday it executed 37 people, all Saudi nationals, state media reported.

Bachelet voiced concern about a lack of due process and fair trial guarantees amid allegations that confessions were obtained through torture.

She further appealed to Saudi authorities to review ‘counter-terrorism’ legislation and to halt pending executions, including of three men on death row.

Hezbollah Condemns Saudi Regime’s Heinous Crime of Executing Innocent Civilians

Hezbollah Media Relations- Translated by Staff

Hezbollah strongly condemns the heinous crime committed by the Saudi regime against dozens of innocent civilians, who have committed no offense except to demand the right to freedom and freedom of expression.

Hezbollah further expresses its solidarity and sympathy with the families of the martyrs and asked God to grant them patience and tranquility.

In parallel, Hezbollah believes that this innocent blood will remain a beacon to the oppressed people, enlightening their path and paving their way towards salvation.

It further confirms that God’s pledge to the oppressed is victory and that oppressors are to demise.

The United States is a key partner of this regime in its responsibility for the heinous crimes it has committed since its establishment by the force of sword, brutality, murder and mass massacres everywhere.

It is responsible for protecting and sponsoring the regime as well as for pushing the international community to disregard its evil crimes in order to preserve its [the US] interests in money and oil.

We urge the people of the world as well as international and human rights organizations to raise their voices and pressure their governments, especially the United States, to expose this brutal and tyrant regime and unveil its relations and role in the establishment, support and sponsorship of the terrorist organizations.

Hezbollah deplores the dubious international silence on the crimes committed by the Saudi regime and its Wahhabi tools throughout the world, including the recent executions. It also considers that silence on all these crimes is what drives this regime to continue its terrorism and crimes that make no respect to borders or values.

 

 

Each Saudi Martyr Had a Tragic Story, Some Were Forced to Sign Their Organ Donation Papers

By Staff

Of the executed detainees, 12 were falsely accused of forming an alleged “espionage cell”. The 12 tortured detainees, all respected academics, religious scholars, and bankers, were executed on Tuesday. Reports said they were previously forced to consent to the donation of their organs!

Sheikh Mohamed AlAttiya [MA in Islamic Jurisprudence] worked at the Jeddah College of Technology. He was one the 12 professionals falsely accused of forming the alleged “espionage cell”, and he was executed in cold blood by Saudi authorities today.

Banker Abbas AlHassan, a father of 4, was implicated in the “espionage cell” and brutally tortured until he suffered hypertension-induced cardiac hypertrophy. Saudi executed him today after threatening to arrest his wife & children unless he signed false confessions.

Martyr Mujtaba AlSwaiket earned a scholarship to study at Western Michigan University. Even though he was a 17yo MINOR, Saudi forces arrested him at the airport. Mujtaba endured horrific torture and suffered a broken shoulder, but he was sentenced to death and executed today.

Executed martyr Munir AlAdam suffered a visual/hearing impairment. In 2012, he was arrested, kicked, his fingers smashed, & was tortured until he was practically blind/dead. Saudi accused him of organizing protests using a cellphone, when he was too poor to own one!

Martyr Abdul Kareem AlHawwaj was reportedly a 16yo MINOR when he was arbitrarily arrested by Saudi forces. He was kicked, beaten with rods, lashed with wires, and tortured with electric shocks to “confess”. He was sentenced to death, and was unjustly executed today!

Brothers Hussain and Ahmad AlRabie came from an impoverished family living in a dilapidated house made of tin & plywood. Ahmad had been detained since 2013 and every organ of his body was tortured until he became very thin and couldn’t stand and walk any more. The brothers protested for equal rights, but were arrested, tortured, and executed today. Their 13YO brother Thamer was also killed by Saudi forces in 2014.

Salman Qureish was arrested shortly after his 18th birthday, accused of crimes that took place when he was a juvenile. He was denied basic legal rights and sentenced to death in a mass trial, despite repeated interventions on his behalf by the United Nations.

Martyr Abdul Aziz AlSahwi is the eldest among his orphaned siblings. He took it upon himself to look after them despite his very young age. After filing the alleged accusations against him by the court’s judge, he confirmed that he was obliged to make confessions while under the effect of treatment and that he was beaten while in hospital.

Abdullah al-Zaher was only 15 years-old when he participated in the protests, then he lost his hearing under torture.

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