Archive for the ‘Muslim Countries’ 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
Mubarak Bala, a 29-year-old Ex-Muslim Nigerian has been
forced to undergo psychiatric treatment against his will by
his father and other family members following his coming
out as an atheist in a Shariah imposed Muslim state of Kano.
This article will give you an idea of what happened.
Continuous updated information is provided here.
An example of Mubarak’s social criticism:
To get information regarding organizational activities:
In order to make this campaign a success, you are requested
to sign the petition below and share it in social media:
Thank you for your co-operation.
Skepticism and confirmation:
Mubarak is now free.Thanking every one for joining the campaign.
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.
Radical Humanists are revolutionaries. This fact is realized and recognized early by the opponents of love of freedom than those who actually are in need of the message of liberation. While the Pakistani army occupied Bangladesh and carried out a systematic annihilation of intellectuals as part of the genocide, they did not forget to locate Radical Humanist activists in Bangladesh. The following part is taken from a volume published as commemoration of M.N.Roy’s birth centenary. In the article, ‘M.N.Roy’s Influence on Bengali Muslims’, Dr. Tajul Hossain, ‘ surgeon and physician who held high responsible positions in the Bangladesh republic’ recounts the efforts of early Radical Humanists in spreading the philosophy of Radical Humanism. We are also told about the martyrdom of two valiant Radicals: Habibur Rahman and Jyotirmoy Guha Thakurata. We express our indebtedness to Indian Renaissance Institute for the commemoration volume. The relevant part is presented without any changes under quotation marks:
“Roy visited Dacca early in 1948 accompanied by Professor Sibnarayan Ray. Maulana Akram Khan was invited to preside over a meeting of Roy but he declined. Muslim students in Salimullah hall were much interested in listening to Roy on Islam and they invited him. Some personal friends of Roy in the cadre of the former ICS gave him a reception in the Dacca Club. Radicals who migrated from Calcutta formed a new base in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and gradually developed social roots there. Many enthusiastic University and College teachers showed a growing interest in the philosophy of New Humanism and joined many group discussions.
Following the summer camp of May, 1948, K.K. Sinha, Jyotirindra Mohan Sarker and I went to Dacca to arrange a study camp there, with the help of Jyotirmoy Guha Thakurata, Habibur Rahman and others. About 20 participants discussed New Humanism for 5 days. One public meeting was arranged with a good audience which was addressed by Sinha and me.
A programme was drawn for Jyotirmoy and Habibur Rahman to visit some of the district towns like Rajshahi, Mymensingh, Comillah, Sylhet and Chittagong. Individual radicals like Nuruzzaman in Rajashahi, Roonu Choudhury in Mymensingh, Shyamadhan Sengupta in Sylhet, and Anil Roy in Chittagong arranged meetings in Public Halls and Bar Libraries where the principles of New Humanism were explained. Some individuals established discussion centres in different places. Habibur Rahman made the former RDP office at Dacca his residence and he conducted there regular evening and weekly discussion meetings for over 10 years before he was transferred to Rajshahi University. Here, he was killed on March 27, 1971 by the Pakistani Army. He made an enormous contribution to the spread of radical humanism amongst his colleagues and students, in Dacca and Rajshahi.
Salahuddin initiated the establishment of a Friends’ Centre at Dacca with the cooperation of some Quaker social workers from Britain. At a later date, Jyotirmoy became its very vital participant and remained so for more than 10 years besides carrying on his activities in the University and the Humanist forum. He was also killed on March 27, 1971 in his University residence by the Pakistani Army. But he left behind an abiding influence on the Dacca elite circle by virtue of his personality which combined truthfulness, goodness and deep interest in art and literature.”
For A Revolution From Below – An M.N.Roy Commemorative Volume,
Published on behalf of the
Indian Renaissance Institute
By Minerva Associates (Publications)Pvt. Ltd.,
Calcutta, 700 029.
First Published: March 1989.