Flogging for blogging in Saudi Arabia again?

This video says about itself:

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi sentence ‘a slow death’, says wife

12 June 2015

Saudi Arabia‘s Supreme Court has upheld the sentence of 1,000 lashes and 10 years of imprisonment on blogger Raif Badawi, despite a foreign outcry.

From Deutsche Welle in Germany:

Freedom of Speech

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi to be given more lashes in prison

The Saudi government will apparently resume the lashing punishment against blogger Raif Badawi. The Raif Badawi Foundation announced it had received this news from a “private source.”

18 October 2016

In a statement, the Raif Badawi Foundation said it had received the confirmation from the same source that had notified his family and associates about the first set of 50 lashes, which were served on January 9, 2015. The foundation did not specify who the source was.

In contrast to the first round of punishment, which was performed in a public place, the next lashing was reportedly due to be carried out inside prison. Following injuries after his first flogging, Badawi’s remaining 950 lashes had to be postponed indefinitely.

The foundation said it had called on the Saudi government and royal family to intervene and stop the punishment. It has also asked the government to pardon Badawi and to deprive him of his Saudi citizenship, so he could be reunited with his family, who reside in Canada where they were granted asylum.

The announcement comes ahead of the Frankfurt Book Fair, where the Raif Badawi Foundation is expected to give a journalism award to a radio station based in northern Iraq.

NWE radio for refugees has been hailed for its efforts to broadcast news, with information in three languages for internally displaced Iraqis fleeing from the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) movement.

One thousand lashes against liberty

The blogger has been imprisoned since 2012 for insulting the particularly conservative interpretation of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia with his open advocacy of free speech and freedom of religion.

His blog, the Saudi Free Liberals Forum, was shut down following his arrest. Initially handed the death penalty for apostasy, he was given a sentence of 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes to be served concurrently.

Badawi received his first 50 lashes in January 2015, sustaining sufficient injuries for the sentence to be suspended for nearly two years. Amid the international condemnation that ensued, the 32-year-old received numerous human rights awards, including the Sakharov Prize and the BOB award, DW’s recognition for Freeedom of Speech.

Badawi’s wife, who is allowed to speak to him on the phone once or twice a week, said that his health had suffered considerably since he was given the sentence. Badawi has also reportedly been on sustained hunger strike on at least two occasions.

Saudi death penalty, even for a prince

This video says about itself:

Saudi beheading – Myanmar woman screams innocence before execution

1-17-2015 – A Myanmar woman beheaded in a Saudi street this week for killing her husband’s young daughter is seen screaming her innocence in a video posted on the Internet Saturday.

Saudi authorities have arrested someone for filming the incident, said local newspaper websites, including Okaz and Al-Riyadh, in reports accompanied by still shots from the recording.

“I did not kill. There is no God but God. I did not kill,” cries the woman, covered in black, apparently kneeling on the pavement circled by police officers in the video on LiveLeak.

“Haram. Haram. Haram. Haram. I did not kill … I do not forgive you … This is an injustice,” she screams in Arabic, using the Islamic term for something that is forbidden.

The executioner, dressed in a white robe, forces her to lie down on the ground, near a pedestrian crossing. Mountains are seen in the distance.

“I did not,” she continues before a final scream as the executioner’s curved sword severs her head, in a traditional execution for the kingdom, which carries out death sentences in public.

Several other videos purportedly showing beheadings in Saudi Arabia have circulated online over the past three years.

Saudi Arabia executed 87 people last year, up from 78 in 2013, according to an AFP tally.

A United Nations special rapporteur has said trials leading to the death penalty in Saudi Arabia are “grossly unfair”.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are punishable by death in the oil-rich Gulf state that is a close ally of Washington.

Saudi authorities identified Bassim as holding “Burmese nationality”, using the former name for Myanmar, but did not specify if she was from its Rohingya Muslim community.

In Saudi Arabia, some princesses of the royal family can get away with crimes for which non-royal women might get harsh punishment, including the death penalty. However, some other princesses may get tortured for not confirming to establishment anti-women rules.

In Saudi Arabia, some princes of the royal family can get away with things like drinking alcohol, wholesale smuggling of illegal drugs, rape etc. for which non-royal men might get harsh punishment, including the death penalty. Like with royal family women, there are a few exceptions to that rule.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Saudi Arabia executes prince

Today, 05:46

In Saudi Arabia a prince has been executed. This was done according to the Saudi Interior Ministry because he had killed a man in a quarrel three years ago.

It’s about Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabir, one of the thousands of members of the Saudi royal family. He is not known to have had an important job.

The death penalty in Saudi Arabia happens with great regularity, but there are hardly any cases of members of the royal family who have been executed. One of the most famous was Prince Faisal bin Musaid al Saud, who was executed in 1975 because he had murdered his uncle, King Faisal.

From the International Business Times today:

A Saudi state news service report said Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabir was put to death in the capital Riyadh but the report did not mention the method of execution used. Generally, most death penalties in the Islamic kingdom are carried out by beheading in a public square.

In one respect, Saudi Arabia today differs from sixteenth or seventeenth century England. There, beheading was a ‘privilege’, only for nobility people condemned to death. Commoners were hanged.

Hillary Clinton emails and Saudi Arabia

This video from the USA says about itself:

Clinton Emails Admit Counterrevolutionary Role of Saudi Arabia in Middle East

15 October 2016

Saudi Arabia is known to have facilitated the 9/11 attacks and fund ISIL [ISIS], but why does the monarchy get so much leeway from the US? Souciant.com’s associate editor Zenab Ahmed takes up this question.

WAS THERE A QUID PRO QUO WITH THE FBI AND STATE OVER CLINTON’S EMAILS? A new Washington Post report alleges a State Department official argued for a lower classification of one of Clinton’s emails in return for the approval of more FBI personnel in Iraq. [WaPo]

‘United States government helping butchery of Yemeni civilians’

This video says about itself:

Rising anger in Yemen after deadly funeral attack

10 October 2016

The single deadliest attack in the 19-month war in Yemen left 140 people dead and 515 injured, after an airstrike on a funeral. Anger is now rising in Yemen … ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery reports.

By James Tweedie in Britain:

US navy joins Saudi blitz on Yemen

Friday 14th October 2016

Cruise missiles fired in alleged ‘revenge attack’

US FORCES attacked Yemen with cruise missiles yesterday, adding to the Saudi blitz on the impoverished Middle Eastern nation in what the Pentagon claimed was “self-defence.”

Three Yemeni Republican Guard radar installations on the country’s Red Sea coast were hit with cruise missiles launched from the US destroyer USS Nitze.

US President Barack Obama ordered the attacks on the recommendation of Defence Secretary Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Joseph Dunford.

In Britain, Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German said the US attack on Yemen was “another escalation of the war there.”

She warned: “Obama is risking a much wider war and the incident may be used as a pretext for this, as we saw in the 1960s with the Gulf of Tonkin incident in Vietnam.

“This is a very dangerous time in the Middle East, with growing tensions over Syria between the US and Russia.

“The end of a US presidency is often an uncertain and unstable period in this respect. Whoever becomes president, intervention in the region is likely to grow.”

The pretext for the military intervention was alleged missile attacks from Yemen on two other US warships, the destroyer USS Mason and the amphibious assault ship USS Ponce, on Monday and Wednesday, neither of which actually struck the vessels.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook claimed the attacks were “limited” and in “self-defence.”

He said they had been ordered “to protect our personnel, our ships and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway,” between the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean.

But, ominously, he warned that Washington would “respond to any further threat to our ships and commercial traffic as appropriate.”

The missile strike came just days after the US pledged to “review” billions of dollars of arms sales to Saudi Arabia and logistical support to the nine-nation invasion coalition.

That announcement followed the coalition’s bombing of a funeral in the capital Sanaa, which left 155 people dead in a scene of horrific carnage and wounded more than 500.

The Saudi-led coalition is fighting to restore ousted president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power in a civil war against the Houthi movement and allied elements of the Yemeni armed forces.

Yemeni Republican Guard spokesman Sharaf Ioqman called the attack an “American farce to find a reason to interfere in Yemen directly after failure of the Saudis.”

Mr Ioqman said that the army never targets ships outside Yemen’s territorial waters — only vessels that enter them come under attack.

An unnamed military officer told Yemen’s Saba news agency that the US claims were unfounded and that the popular committees — set up by the Houthi rebels — had nothing to do with such actions.

He added: “Such claims are part of the general context of creating false justifications to escalate assaults and cover up the continuous crimes committed by the aggression against the Yemeni people, along with the blockade imposed on it, and after the increasing condemnations to such barbaric and hideous crimes against Yemenis.”

Communist Party of Britain general secretary Rob Griffiths said: “This direct military intervention is obviously intended to clear the path for the murderous bombing campaign by Saudi Arabia to intensify.

“This violation of yet another country’s sovereignty by US forces highlights the utter hypocrisy of the sermons delivered by Obama and Kerry against Russia’s assistance to the Syrian government.

“Yesterday, the US was supposed to be reviewing arms sales to the vile Saudi dictatorship and now it’s helping them to murder yet more Yemeni civilians.”

This video says about itself:

Yara, a child from Yemen

29 August 2016

Yara, a child from Yemen talking about the forgotten war and Saudi terror against her poor country.

With the US Navy’s firing of Tomahawk cruise missiles against targets on Yemen’s Red Sea Coast early Thursday, Washington has embarked on another major escalation of a spiraling campaign of military aggression aimed at imposing US imperialist hegemony throughout the Middle East and around the globe: here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Yemen strikes show US hand

Friday 14th October 2016

WASHINGTON’S destruction of three coastal radar sites in Yemen puts the US firmly in the camp of the Saudi-led coalition blitzing civilian targets there.

The Pentagon claims that it put the radar facilities in the province of Taiz out of action with Tomahawk cruise missiles because of rockets launched this week against two [of] its warships in the Red Sea.

Whether such attacks took place is disputed by the Shi’ite Houthi popular committees and their allies, … but, in any case, no US vessel sustained damage.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook’s claim that launching these raids was limited and in self-defence is pitiful.

The knocked-out radar facilities are said to have been central to recent missile strikes from Yemen onto targets in Saudi Arabia in retaliation for its raids on the region’s poorest country.

By neutralising them, Washington is not only supporting Riyadh’s efforts to reimpose the rule of ousted president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi but joining in militarily.

The carnage inflicted by Saudi Arabia and its allies in Yemen has not received the wall-to-wall political and media coverage of civilian casualties in Syria.

The weekend obliteration by Saudi warplanes, using US-supplied weaponry, of a funeral ceremony in the capital Sanaa for Interior Minister Gala al-Rawishan, which killed 155 people and wounded 500 more, initially drew expressions of concern from the White House.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said that Washington would review its assistance to the Saudi-led coalition, reporting “candid and forthright” expressions of its concerns to Riyadh over attacks on civilians and emphasising that it did not offer a “blank cheque.”

New York-based Human Rights Watch urged an independent international investigation, noting that human rights groups have documented Saudi-led coalition bombings that have hit weddings, markets, schools, and hospitals.

Secretary of State John Kerry, however, contented himself with voicing “deep concern,” while welcoming Saudi ministers’ promise “to launch a thorough and immediate investigation of the strike.”

Yesterday’s cruise missile attacks on the Republican Guard radar facilities indicate how shallow this professed concern is.

Washington values its billions of dollars worth of arms sales to Riyadh above any worries about Yemeni civilians being killed.

Saudi Arabia has cast itself as the Arab military powerhouse in the region and the most reliable US ally, replacing Egypt and, before that, Iraq.

It has organised and armed, along with its Qatari and Emirati acolytes, the jihadi extremists battling to overthrow the government in Syria.

But the ability of the Houthi-Saleh alliance in Yemen to maintain resistance, even without aerial support, to the invasion by Riyadh and its regional allies and to take the war into Saudi territory leaves such self-praise quite dented.

It also explains why the US feels it necessary to become directly involved in the Saudis’ squalid military intervention.

President Barack Obama has indicated that he has no wish to embroil the US in further overseas military quagmires, but he has little more than three months left in office.

Likely successor Hillary Clinton is hawkish in foreign affairs, backing military interventions and welcoming the lynching of overthrown Libyan dictator Muammar Gadaffi, giggling: “We came, we saw, he died.”

The current international situation is far too dangerous for such light-hearted disregard for the consequences of imperialist interventions that benefit only the arms dealers.

Politicians have a responsibility to move beyond easy recourse to bombing as a first option and recognise the need for negotiated solutions.

United States Navy attacks Yemen, helping Saudis killing civilians

This video, by the (Conservative) Daily Telegraph in Britain, says about itself:

Video shows moment ‘double tap’ air strike hits Yemen funeral

9 October 2016

Warning: contains footage some may find distressing.

Footage shown by Al-Masirah TV in Yemen shows the moment a Saudi-led coalition air strike bombed a funeral hall in Sanaa on Saturday. More than 140 people were killed and at least 525 others were wounded in the “double tap” air strikes. Double tap refers to a practice where one strike is launched and as people rush to help the wounded at the scene, a second strike hits.

From Reuters news agency today:

By Phil Stewart | WASHINGTON

The U.S. military launched cruise missile strikes on Thursday to knock out three coastal radar sites in areas of Yemen controlled by … Houthi forces, retaliating after failed missile attacks this week on a U.S. Navy destroyer, U.S. officials said. …

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said U.S. Navy destroyer USS Nitze launched the Tomahawk cruise missiles around 4 a.m. local (0100 GMT). …

The official identified the areas in Yemen where the radar were located as: near Ras Isa, north of Mukha and near Khoka.

The failed missile attacks on the USS Mason – the latest of which took place on Wednesday – appeared to be part of the reaction to a suspected Saudi-led strike on mourners gathered in Yemen’s Houthi-held capital Sanaa. …

The Houthis … denied any involvement in Sunday’s attempt to strike the USS Mason.

This is a dangerous escalation by the Pentagon of the bloody war in Yemen, which kills mainly civilians and has caused a humanitarian catastrophe. This escalation makes the US government even more of an ally of the Saudi absolute monarchy‘s cruel aggression against the poorest Arab country than it already was.

Washington threatens military intervention in Yemen following reported missile attacks on US warship: here.