Saudi women oppressed with Pentagon, Google help

This 8 March 2019 video says about itself:

Why are so many women fleeing Saudi Arabia? | DW Stories

Saudi women are fleeing the kingdom in droves. Our interview partner Manal al-Sharif escaped the stict rule of the Saudi Arabian guardian system, and she has a piece of advice for other women: “Do not talk, do not breathe!”

Manal al-Sharif is a women’s rights activist and also a columnist for Washington Post, like Jamal Khashoggi. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi put fear into Saudi dissidents living abroad. Al-Sharif says officials in the kingdom are sending a clear message that they can find opposition voices wherever they are.

From the (conservative) Daily Mail in Britain:

Saudi Arabia is tracking down women who flee the country using mobile phones’ IMEI numbers, women’s activist reveals

Two women told how Saudi security services demanded to see their phone IMEI

Women fled the country and officers demanded to see their phone packaging

Technology was used to find at least four women who have fled Saudi Arabia

A woman who fled to Georgia was told agents tracked her down using her IMEI

By Anthony Harwood

13 June 2019

Saudi Arabia is tracking down women who flee the country by locating mobile phones via their IMEI number, an activist has claimed.

Military-grade technology used by US forces to pinpoint targets for drone strikes

eg, drone strikes in the Trump-Saudi royals war on the people of Yemen

has been used to find at least four women who have fled the desert kingdom’s patriarchal system.

Two women told how Saudi security services turned up at their homes after they had fled and demanded to see the packaging their phones arrived in.

Officials told their families they could help bring their daughters home but needed the 15-digit International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number printed on the side of the box when it was bought.

The technology would enable Saudi agents to get to within a few feet of the nearly 1,000 women who flee Saudi Arabia every year.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun fled her Saudi parents and shut herself in a hotel room in Thailand as authorities threatened to deport her, before eventually she gained asylum in Canada. She posted constant updates about her treatment at a Bangkok airport.

Many women run away to escape a male guardianship system under which they need a man’s permission to leave the house, go to work or leave the country.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

the man behind the genocidal war on Yemen, the mass beheadings of pro-democracy demonstrators, the butchery of pro-democracy demonstrators in Sudan, the murders of journalists like Khashoggi, killed by sawing him to pieces with a bone saw; and a buddy of the self-styled ‘Free World’ NATO politicians, with whom he now tries to start a war on Iran.

promised a raft of reforms when he came to power in 2017, but so far has only given the women the right to drive.

While the women activists who had made the lifting of the driving ban possible were packed off to torture jails and threatened with the death penalty by beheading for so-called ‘terrorism’.

Instead women’s rights activists who campaigned for an end to male guardianship have been arrested and face lengthy jail sentences after being forced to confess under torture to being ‘foreign agents’.

One woman, who fled to the former Soviet country, Georgia, was informed by her lawyer that the Saudis had tracked her down there using her IMEI number.

‘The Georgian police tracked you upon request from the Saudi government, using an IMEI that they obtained from the packaging on your cellphone’, she was told, before being taken back to Saudi Arabia.

According to Business Insider, another woman told German-based activist, Taleb al-Abdulmohsen, how she was traced to Australia.

However, she was able to get asylum before Saudi officials could arrange for her to be sent back.

Computer security expert Micah Lee said it was trivial of the Saudis to hunt down runaways by their IMEI number.

He said: ‘When cellphones connect to towers, they share their IMEI as well as other unique identifiers, which means that local telecommunications companies in Saudi Arabia know the physical location of every phone in the country, and could be compelled to share this information with the government’.

Earlier this year Google refused to remove a Saudi government app that allows men to track and control women.

The app, called Absher, gives husbands the power to grant and deny travel permission for their wives and sends out alerts when they use their passports, or leave a certain area their spouse deems they should stay.

In January Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun live-streamed her bid to flee her family abroad.

The 18-year-old did so in a bid to avoid being sent home to her family, saying she feared for her life. …

She gained 114,000 followers as she broadcast to the world while shutting herself in a hotel room in Thailand, before eventually gaining asylum in Canada.

It led to one Saudi official joking that he wished Thai police ‘would’ve taken her phone instead of her passport.

Last month the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab project revealed that three critics of the Saudi government had had their phones hacked by the country’s intelligence services.

Omar Abdulaziz, who has been living in Canada since 2009, is now suing the Israeli security company NSO Group, which he claims sold the Saudis a phone-hacking programme called Pegasus.

Pegasus project: spyware leak suggests lawyers and activists at risk.

8 thoughts on “Saudi women oppressed with Pentagon, Google help

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