Saudi princesses tortured for protesting regime’s anti-women policy


This video from Britain says about itself:

28 March 2014

Tonight exclusively on Channel 4 News the daughters of the king of Saudi Arabia speak out about being locked away for years.

From the Daily Mail in Britain:

‘We are hostages’: Saudi princesses who say they are kept locked in palace as punishment for advocating women’s rights make another plea for help

Sisters claim they are being held hostage for supporting women’s rights

Princesses say their family beat them and deny access to food and water

By Josh Gardner and Daniel Miller and Jessica Jerreat

Published: 03:36 GMT, 20 April 2014 | Updated: 13:47 GMT, 20 April 2014

One of the Saudi princesses who claims she and her sisters are being held captive by their father has managed to make contact with the outside world.

Sahar, the eldest daughter of Saudi Arabia‘s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, said the women were being starved and beaten on the orders of her father.

The 42-year-old princess, who had lived a life of luxury before the past 13 years of captivity, made her claims during a clandestine phone call to the New York Post.

‘We are cut off and isolated and alone. We are hostages,’ she said.

‘No one can come see us, and we can’t go see anyone. Our father is responsible and his sons, our half-brothers, are both culprits in this tragedy.’

She said that the King was punishing her and her three sisters, Jawaher, Hala, and Maha, because they spoke out about the injustices and inequality faced by women in Saudi Arabia.

‘That was it for him. It was the end for us,’ Sahar said.

Saudi Arabia has one of the most oppressive human rights records for gender inequality. Women must be covered from head to toe, are banned from driving and have every move shadowed by a male guardian – usually a husband, brother or father.

The girls’ mother, who fled into self-imposed exile in London to escape what she said was an abusive relationship, backed up her daughters’ claims and said she feared for their safety.

‘They once had a normal life for Saudi Arabia, but they are free thinkers, and their father hates that,’ Alanoud Al Fayez told the New York Post.

‘They are compassionate about the plight of women in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Arab world. The injustices that we see are terrible, and someone must say something.’

Her daughters claim that they are beaten, denied food and water for days at a time, and have been confined to a dark and isolated part of the royal estate.

Power supplies and running water are shut off for days or weeks at a time and the women have been separated from one another, with Sahar and Jawher in one room and Hala and Maha in another.

‘Our energy is quite low, and we’re trying our best to survive,’ Sahar said, adding that the rooms they are kept in are sweltering hot and overrun with bugs.

She added that men, including their half-brothers have beaten them with sticks.

An official at the Saudi embassy in London denied the sisters’ claims and said they were free to go where they liked but, because they are royalty, they needed to be accompanied by armed guards.

Their mother however, rejected the official’s claims and alleged that her former husband wanted the sisters to die.

‘That place was once a home. Now it’s a cage,’ she told the Post.

‘The king wants them dead and he wants them to die in front of the world, yet he will deny any of this ever happened.’

Al Fayez has campaigned about her daughers’ plight to President Obama and the UN.

The 57-year-old called on Obama to help before he visited the King during an official visit.

‘Mr Obama should take this opportunity to address these grave violations committed against my daughters,’ she said.

‘Since 13 years, my daughters Sahar, Maha, Hala and Jawaher are being held captive. ‘They need to be saved and released immediately.’

Al Fayez has written to the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to say that her daughters are ‘imprisoned, held against their will, cut off from the world’.

Obama paid a visit to Saudi King Abdullah’s desert oasis at the end of March.

Abdullah became king of Saudi Arabia in 2005. The oil-rich state is a key ally of the U.S. in the Middle East and its extensive royal family enjoy massive wealth, with the king one of the world’s richest men.

Al Fayez was only 15 when she married King Abdullah, who was then in his 40s, but he divorced her just over a decade later.

The king, who has 38 children by a number of wives, has placed his four daughters with Alfayez under the control of three of their half-brothers, according to Sahar.

See also here.

Investigating the Saudi Government’s 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment – Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1: here.

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Male Mormons exclude women


This video is called USA: Mormon women march for gender equality in church.

From Reuters news agency:

Mormons exclude women seeking ordination from male-only meeting

• Campaigners seek admission of women to lay priesthood
Ordain Women brave bad weather to press case

Salt Lake City

Sunday 6 April 2014 15.05 BST

Hundreds of Mormon women who want ecclesiastical equality were denied admittance to a male-only session of their faith’s spring conference on Saturday, in their attempt [to] promote the ordination of women into the lay priesthood.

Adorned in purple, members of Ordain Women marched through a hailstorm from a park to the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square, the heart of a four-block campus that is the global home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were seeking unfilled seats at the evening priesthood meeting at the faith’s biannual conference.

This follows the group’s attempt last autumn to gain admittance to the meeting. The actions have led to tensions between church officials and the women, who say they are steadfast in their faith but want to play a more significant role in the life of a religion that claims over 15 million adherents worldwide.

One by one, the women and some male supporters were politely turned away by a church spokeswoman. High school student Emma Tueller, 16, fought back tears after the rejection, which came with a hug from the church representative, who encouraged her to watch the proceedings of the meeting online.

Tueller, a resident of Provo, Utah, joined Ordain Women in the previous action last autumn. “This time it was more painful,” she said. “I love this church and I think my personal gifts and my personal talents could be much better utilised if I had the priesthood.”

In advance of Saturday’s event, church officials had asked Ordain Women to refrain from bringing their cause to Temple Square, saying it would detract from the “spirit of harmony” at the two-day conference, which includes four events open to both genders and the male-only priesthood meeting. In a statement late on Saturday, church officials expressed displeasure with what they called the women’s “refusal to accept ushers’ directions and refusing to leave when asked”.

Ordain Women has objected to being characterized by the church as protesters. “We’re not activists. We’re not protesters,” said Kate Kelly, a Washington, DC-based human rights attorney and lifetime Mormon who last year co-founded the group with about 20 other women. “We’re people on the inside. We are investing in an institution … not critiquing it to tear it down,” she said.

Men ordained to the priesthood in the Mormon church can perform religious rituals, including baptisms, confirmations or blessings and can be called to lead congregations. Boys enter into the priesthood as deacons at age 12 and grow in authority and responsibility as they get older or are called to service by more senior church leaders.

Initially, about 200 people appeared to be taking part in the action, but a spokeswoman for the group put the number of participants at 510.

Women are powerless in matters of church governance and can make no autonomous decisions, even at the highest levels, Kelly said.

Church officials declined an interview request in advance of Saturday’s event.

“Ordination of women to the priesthood is a matter of doctrine that is contrary to the Lord’s revealed organisation for His Church,” said last month’s church letter to the group.

Outside the gates to Temple Square, church member Nate Brown said he does not object to the idea of women in the priesthood, but does not like the tactics of Ordain Women. “I perceive [their asking] not as a civil action, but more of a challenge of church leaders,” said Brown, 59, who came from Salem, Oregon, for the conference.

Brown is not alone. A 2011 Pew Research study found Mormons overwhelmingly disapprove of women joining the lay priesthood.

But Brown said he would welcome the ordination of women if a church president, whom Mormons consider a prophet who communicates with God, changed church policies. “I believe in following the prophet,” Brown said.

Since Ordain Women first pushed their cause last fall, church leaders have taken some actions to show their regard for women. For the first time, a woman was asked to pray at the conference and the men’s priesthood meeting was broadcast live on cable television and the internet.

That is a far cry from the 1990s when the faith’s leaders excommunicated some women who advocated for gender equity, said Nadine Hansen, a lifetime church member and an attorney who published her first article about women’s ordination nearly 30 years ago. “I appreciate the changes they are making,” said Hansen. “They are listening.”

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