Archive for the ‘Freedom’ Category
The fact that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an anachronism has already been made clear by us. Repeated requests for reform have been ignored or crushed in revenge.
The most heinous attack on liberty and democratic awareness – the sentence to imprisonment,fine and an additional travel ban after completing the prison term on a human rights lawyer who argued the case for Raif Badawy – has been condemned by human rights organizations and all other freedom loving individuals. But the regime is not the one to heed.
It seems there will not be an end to repressions and human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia if the present regime continues. Waleed Abul khair is not only a human rights activist, but a specialist lawyer in that field. The fact that he is a defender of victims who had stood against Salafist clergy-sponsored and Shariah based violations of human rights perpetrated by the decadent bureaucracy and ruling dynasty is the sole reason behind the inadmissible and shocking abuses he has been subjected to.
He was born in Jiddah in 1979. He founded the first Saudi Human Rights organization MHRSA registered in Canada in 2012. In 2007, the liberal activists released a petition demanding a constitutional monarchy by means of free elections in place of the present absolute monarchy. They were arrested in February 2007 accusing them of collecting funds for terrorism. Next year he organized a hunger strike for prisoners of conscience. (1)
Saudi monarchy has a dirty history of repressing pluralism and human rights activism. The Saudi Association for Civil and Political Rights (ACPRA) founded in 2009 was not given permission to function by the Ministry of Interior . Two founders of ACPRA were convicted for breach of allegiance to the monarchy and disobedience, undermining the security, inciting to disturb public order by calling for demonstrations, providing wrong information to foreigners etc. including creation of an unauthorized organization. In March 2013, Abdullah al-Hamid was awarded 10 years’ imprisonment and Muhammad al-Qahtani, 11 years’. They were also put under a travel ban. The court ordered dissolution of the Association, confiscation of its property and closure of its accounts on social networks. Abdul Rahman al-Hamid, Abdullah Hamid’s brother was detained incommunicado for a month and then moved to the prison in Buraydah, qassim province and is being held there without charges (2)
Abul Khair had a role in the creation of several civic initiatives including Women’s driving campaign. In 2011, he was named as one of the top 100 twitter activists with more than 40,000 followers by Forbes Middle east. Since 2010, his international reputation as a genuine representative of Arab human rights activists was viewed with jealousy and irritation by the authorities.
The trial of Fowzan al Harbi, the fourth founder member of ACPRA began on 4th December 2013. On June 25, 2014, the Riyadh criminal court sentenced him to seven years in prison along with a travel ban. ACPRA members Umar al-Sa’ id and Abdul Kareem Al-Khudhr were also sentenced to prison. On 8th April, Abdul Azeez al-Ghamdi was detained. On April 17, the Special Criminal Court sentenced Fadhel Maki al-Manaf to 15 years in prison and a fine of 100,000 Saudi Riyals plus the travel ban. He has been reported to have suffered torture and other ill treatment in detention. (ibid)
The first trial of Waleed Abul Khair was in 2011 after signing the statement denouncing persecution of reformists. On October 29, 2013, he was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment by the criminal court. On February 6, 2014, the Court of Appeal in Mekka confirmed the punishment.
The Special Criminal Court in another case has now sentenced Waleed abul Khair to 15 years in prison,a fine of 200,000Riyals and a travel ban for a further period of 15 years subsequent to his completing the prison term.The trial relating to this began on October 6th,2013. He was arrested without explanation on April 15, and was put in solitary confinement in Al-Hair jail. It is alleged that he was exposed to bright light so as to deprive him of sleep. Then transferred to various detention centres, he is now in Briman prison, Jiddah. (ibid)
We request all the humanists, secularists and other supporters of human rights to call upon the authorities of Saudi Arabia to free Waleed Abul Khair immediately. There is no justification for his detention.
“The sentencing of a prominent Saudi Arabian lawyer and human rights defender to 15 years in prison has dealt a fresh blow to peaceful activism and freedom of expression in the Kingdom, said Amnesty International.”
He is being punished under the new anti-terrorism law.(6)
“The Specialized Criminal Court is a security and counter-terrorism related court whose rules and procedures remain secret and which activists claim is under the direct control of the Interior Ministry. Ahead of his sentencing Waleed Abu al-Khair stated that he considered the court illegitimate and the judge to be biased and would refuse to defend himself in court. ”
Waleed Abul Khair is a prisoner of conscience. He has been exercising his freedom of expression, association and assembly peacefully. He has every right to do it.
A monarchy which is nothing but an anachronism in 21st century is maintaining a judicial system which is a shame to the entire humanity. It is the responsibility of all lovers of democracy to pressurize all forces concerned to take note of the pathetic condition in to which the top oil exporting country has fallen and to act ethically and responsibly in ‘International Relations’.
We request the international community to bring all possible pressure on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and demand the unconditional release of Waleed Abul Khair and all other human rights activists immediately.
Please sign the Petition To Free Waleed Abul Khair
Please sign the Petition To Free Raif
Please sign the petition to Free Fadhil Makki al-Manasif
The brutality and abhorrent despotism of the king is evidenced by the cruelty shown to his four daughters and divorced wife. You can join The Twitter campaign under the hash tag #FreeThe4.
Please sign the Petition to Free The Four Daughters.
Let There Be Light !
Post Script :
Read this also:
Updated on 05 – 09 – 2014
The court of appeal in Jeddah has upheld Raif Badawi’s sentence. On 07 May 2014, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1000 lashes. He was also slapped with a fine of one million Saudi riyals.Please read the call by Amnesty International dtd. 01 – 09 – 2014 below:
Details of e-petition and twitter campaigns :
Raif Badawy has been sentenced to 1000 lashes and 10 years in prison on charges of apostasy. You are requested to join the global community in the campaign to free Raif Badawy.
Twitter hash tag: #FreeRaif
Post Script: By sentencing his lawyer Mr.Waleed Abul Khair, the King and his minions have encroached all limits.
Twitter hash tag : #FreeWaleed
Petition to Free Waleed Abul Khair
Thank You for your help. Long live Secular Democracy!
3. IHEU urges
” ………………So for me, the Supreme Court’s ruling is not just baffling, it is a tragedy of epic proportions. Welcomed only by irrational conservatives and the lunatic fringe, it goes against everything that so many Indians, whatever their personal orientation, have fought for over the past several decades. It goes against the wonderful quality of acceptance that is indisputably part of our cultural fabric.
It goes against the tide of recent history. It goes against every measure of justice. It must be reversed. It will be reversed. This is India after all, not Putin’s Russia or the Ayatollahs’ Iran.” – Siddharth Dube
Read the article in The Hindu
Here we have details about the campaign.
Sign a petition and spread the word.
Post Script : Center For Inquiry wrote to Government of India:
We are inviting your attention to a call for action by the International humanist community. You are requested to do everything possible to make this campaign a success. Please access the following links for detailed information :
“The events in Bangladesh are only the latest instance of a fierce global crackdown on ‘blasphemy,’ with the criminalization of atheism and religious dissent,” said protest coordinator Michael De Dora, director of CFI’s Office of Public Policy. “To all those who believe that the freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, we call upon you to join us, religious believer and atheist alike. We can show those whose lives and freedoms are threatened that they are not forgotten, and send a message to these oppressive regimes that their abuses will not be ignored.” Let us make this world a better place to live in.
12.. Malala discharged after undergoing successful surgery on her skull and ear:
After successfully undergoing a five hour long surgery for skull reconstruction and cochlear implant, she has been discharged. The hospital says she has made good recovery and she will visit the hospital when necessary as an outpatient.
Please visit the site supporting Malala
by clicking the link and sign the petition Created by
Alaphia Z.,United Kingdom which will be delivered to:
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani:
(If clicking on the link does not take you to the site, please try copy and paste on the browser)
The initial target has been reached; now the target is enhanced to 20,000 signatures.
Kindly contact your friends. The culprits have already failed in terrorizing the people. Pressure is building up on an international level as well as from within Pakistan against perpetrators of this barbarism.
More on Malala:
Malala Yousafzai: Pakistan girl
‘standing with help’
Malala able to stand, write, thanks supporters: Doctors
Malala’s father says she will ‘rise again’
Malala Yousafzai status updates:
Malala’s friend Kainat escaped ‘life attempt’
President Zardari visits Malala
Malala discharged from UK hospital
Please visit the site:
And sign the petition to release Hamza Kashgari
Links to Petitions
One of the early petition captions on this cause is:
Saudi government, Interpol and Malaysian government: Freedom for Hamza Kashgari
And the link to it :
Another one is:
End Death Calls for Saudi Poet and Blogger
And the link to it:
All the friends are requested to furnish these links also along with their requests for support to the cause. A smart activist can encourage 10 friends a day. Let us make our endeavor a historic success!
A letter to the Attorney General ( Hamza Kashgari )
“If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.” –John Stuart Mill
What does it mean to feel one’s historical responsibility? It is that, after finishing reading this statement and this message, and posting your name at the end, you are reassured that the dream that captured Martin Luther King’s imagination, and Mahatma Gandhi’s, and Dorothy Irene Height’s, and all the free people of the world and in history, who have died without it. For the rights to freedom and justice and equality of their people have been achieved. Therefore we write this statement and this message to the “general prosecutor”, phrased in a manner in which he understands and that is understood by the next generation of our people, so the next generation can understand the amount of damage and destruction that was caused by those that lived before them. Either they learn well from that lesson, or they can suffer the consequences.
On the 12th of February 2012, the Saudi government returned our beloved friend Hamza Kashgari from Malaysia, overwhelmed, on a private jet after he ran from the oppression of the death threats he had received. The world never looked so grim for him. The reason why? Because he wrote what was on his mind, and said of the Prophet (pbuh), “I loved things about you and hated others,” and they became angry with him. How dare he say, “I hated things about you,” and expressed what’s in his soul? Then he said to the Prophet: “I will not pray for you and I will not bow to you and I will shake your hand as your equal,” and voices attacked him, many calls were made to kill him, his addresses were published and the majority of people went with it. Then the King issued an order to arrest him and subject him to the general prosecution and interrogation. Despite leaving the country mere hours before the fact, seeking refuge, it was still of no use as Malaysia deported and delivered him.
At the same time as we write this statement and this message, our beloved friend Hamza Kashgari sits behind bars awaiting his unknown fate. The angry voices have not subsided to any extent, until the “general prosecutor” of Jeddah stated to a local paper that a court case is being made against Hamza and all those who encouraged, agreed, and otherwise supported him on Twitter. Then suddenly lists were established and peoples’ investigative courts were initiated; either you reject what he said and demand his execution, thus saving yourself but losing your soul, or go with the other way that many friends have gone, and focus on the fact that Hamza repented and retracted all that he said. In other words, through forgiveness, and you don’t win your soul here, you’d just be lying and deceiving yourself- for this way, you’re with the first group of people, but you accept his repentance and they don’t. So what stands behind the two aforementioned paths? It’s that no one else talks, that people become silent about what is inside them, and they agree with the others on matters that they don’t really agree with them on. That way they lose themselves and their individuality and assimilate with the masses and become hypocritical with them, even if they don’t approve and it’s out of their hands.
So in this message and this statement to the “general prosecutor”, who made the aforementioned statement, we say to him that we, who have written our names at the bottom of the message and in the comments, refuse Hamza’s trial and his being forced to repent and we demand he be released at once and protected. To make matters easier for you in trying to search and investigate and prosecute, we with our names encourage fighting an idea with another using embedded convictions that are strong, not frail. Not using arrests and punishment. We support all of those who would like to speak their minds and express what is in their souls ,and write and speak and raise their voices high with what they want to say. Not with what we want, and not with what the angry mob wants, and with all those international declarations signed to preserve human rights and freedoms, which were signed by the Saudi government but were worked against and deviated away from. We make sure to acknowledge that we often disagree with each other and criticize, to the extent that we tell you, the “general prosecutor”, that these names you see and read are ready to sacrifice their lives so any citizen can state and otherwise express their opinion.
We believe that we are being tested now and either be or not be. We are either true to ourselves and our principles and values that we believe in, for our nation and its future, in calling for its rights and freedoms both in conscience and creed, for every citizen living around us, and standing up to the deviation of the government away from the international accords that it signed, guaranteeing human rights and freedoms. Or else we are just posers with no principles or values, speaking what we don’t believe, and having no hope that the next generation would be able to resist this governmental deviation. Of freedom and justice and equality, terms that pass by the awareness of many at this time, and of many others who have not felt the historical responsibility they have towards their nation.
we are :
Ebthal Al-Mubarak , Ahmad Osama Jambi , Anwar Ali Al-Sumaikhy, Albra’a Sameer Falodah, Anoud Bader Al-Qahtani, Alhumaidi Al-Obaisan, Jehad Mahmoud Al-amasy , Hagar Mahdy Hussain, Majid Dohan Al-yammy, Mohannad Adel Najjar, Nada Alqatar mohammad Al-Shehry, Nouf Hadi Al-Harbi, Salem Fawzi bejneed, Sara Bader Al-Qahtani,Sahel Mansour Alruwaily, Sultan Makki Al-sawwaf ,Abdullah Sulaiman Al-Harbi, Abdulrahman Ayman bajawdah , Abdullrahman musa Al-faqeeh , Abdulrahman Salman Al-ali, Abdulrahman harakaty , Essa Salman Al-feefy, Omer Al-tamimy, saleh hameed matar al-anezy, raya Muhammad al-shareef , thumar mahmoud al-marzougi, khobaib zuhair Osailan
- The video version of the letter :