Saudi Arabian government resumes killing Yemeni civilians again


This video says about itself:

Saudi Cleric: We Will Enjoy Torturing Yemeni Women and Children

1 April 2015

A ‎Saudi cleric on State TV channel Al-Wesaal says: “Right now we’re starving Sa’ada, nothing will enter. Not fuel, we will not allow food for their infants to enter, not medicine for their old/sick ones. By Allah their pain & suffering will only give us more pleasure to see them tortured“.

At a certain point the conscience of the world will explode and people will demand the rulers of Saudi Arabia be brought before a world court to answer for their crimes against humanity and support for terrorism.

By Niles Williamson:

Saudi-led coalition resume air strikes in Yemen

19 May 2015

The coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States resumed its brutal assault against Houthi militia targets throughout Yemen Sunday, following the expiration of a five-day cease-fire that began last week.

A plea by a UN envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, that the five-day “humanitarian truce” should turn into a permanent cease-fire fell on deaf ears. The Saudi-led coalition rejected outright any extension of the truce to allow for the shipment and disbursement of further aid.

There were at least three air strikes reported Monday in the northern province of Saada, the stronghold of the Houthi rebels. Bombs were also dropped on the southern port city of Aden, where the Houthis and allied forces control the presidential palace and have been fighting for control of the airport and other key portions of the city.

Aden’s health chief Al Khader Laswar reported Sunday that four people had been killed and 39 others had been wounded in fighting, including four women and two children. According to Laswar, 517 civilians and pro-Hadi fighters have been killed in the city since fighting began in March.

Saudi Arabia also resumed firing artillery shells and rockets across its southern border against Houthi outposts in northern Yemen. The Saudi military reported Monday that their forces had responded to mortars fired from Yemen at a military garrison in its southern Najran province.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who praised the bloody war in Yemen earlier this month when he met with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh, blamed the Houthis for the resumption of air strikes. …

From the beginning, the Obama administration has backed the assault on Yemen as part of its efforts to maintain control of the country, which occupies a key geostrategic position along critical oil transport lanes. Yemen has also functioned as a base for US drones in the region.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir released a statement in which he expressed “regret that the truce did not achieve its humanitarian goals,” and echoed Kerry’s statement that the Houthis were at fault for continuing violence. …

In fact, the Saudi coalition has repeatedly carried out air strikes on the civilian air strips in Sanaa and Hodeida as part of its efforts to enforce a no-fly zone since it began military operations in March. It has also enforced a punishing blockade of the country’s ports, which, taken together with the no-fly zone, has cut off Yemen’s normal supply of food, fuel and medical supplies. As a result, as many as 20 million people, approximately 80 percent of the population, are going hungry.

Coalition bombs have been dropped on residential neighborhoods, a dairy factory in Hodeida, a refugee camp in northern Yemen and a warehouse containing materials for distributing clean water. The Saudi regime has admitted to targeting hospitals and schools, in violation of international law, because they claim they are being used by the Houthis to store weapons and stage attacks. More than 30 schools have been wrecked by air strikes, while the fighting has kept more than 2 million children from attending class.

The brief cease-fire has done little to ease the increasingly desperate conditions confronting millions of civilians in what was already one of the poorest countries in the Arab world. Residents of Saada and Aden reported that, in spite of the delivery of new aid into the country, the much-needed food and medical supplies had not been adequately distributed.

“There is still no fuel available and an extreme shortage of food,” Ghassan Salah, a resident of Aden told the Wall Street Journal. “Some families have received [aid], some haven’t. Government officials who are supposed to distribute it free sometimes sell it. Nothing has improved.”

Civilians have borne the brunt of the assault, accounting for more than half of those killed and wounded. The UN estimates that in less than two months at least 1,820 people have been killed and 7,330 wounded in air strikes and fighting on the ground. Additionally, the US-backed, Saudi-led war has already displaced more than half a million people.

Saudi Arabian government wants more executioners


A Saudi Arabian executioner shows off his sword. Executioners are also required to perform amputations on those convicted of lesser offences. Photograph: Magazine/Rex_Shutterstock

From Reuters news agency:

Saudi Arabia advertises for eight new executioners as beheading rate soars

Jobs classified as ‘religious functionaries’ at lower end of civil service scale
85 reported executed so far this year, rivalling total for whole of 2014

Monday 18 May 2015 16.46 BST

Saudi Arabia is advertising for eight new executioners, recruiting extra staff to carry out an increasing number of death sentences, usually done by public beheading.

No special qualifications are needed for the jobs whose main role is “executing a judgment of death” but also involve performing amputations on those convicted of lesser offences, the advert, posted on the civil service jobs portal, said.

The Islamic kingdom is in the top five countries in the world for putting people to death, rights groups say. It ranked third in 2014, after China and Iran, and ahead of Iraq and the United States, according to Amnesty International figures.

A man beheaded on Sunday was the 85th person this year whose execution was recorded by the official Saudi Press Agency, compared to 88 in the whole of 2014, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). Amnesty said there were at least 90 executions last year.

Most were executed for murder, but 38 had committed drugs offences, HRW said. About half were Saudi and the others were from Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, India, Indonesia, Burma, Chad, Eritrea, the Philippines and Sudan.

Saudi authorities have not said why the number of executions has increased so rapidly, but diplomats have speculated it may be because more judges have been appointed, allowing a backlog of appeal cases to be heard.

Political analysts say it might also reflect a tough response by the judiciary to regional turbulence.

A downloadable pdf application form for the executioner jobs, available on the website carrying Monday’s date, said the jobs were classified as “religious functionaries” and that they would be at the lower end of the civil service pay scale.

While most beheadings are carried out in punishment for murder, the death penalty is also applicable under Saudi law in cases of adultery, apostasy, burglary, drug smuggling, sorcery, witchcraft, fornication, sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, carjacking and waging war on God: here.

Saudi Arabian monarchy continues killing Yemeni civilians


This video says about itself:

Yemen: Injured children arrive in hospital amid Saudi-led carnage

26 March 2015

Patients including young children at Al mo’ayed hospital in Sana’a were forced to share hospital beds or lie on the floor after a Saudi-led air attack struck the Yemeni capital on Thursday morning.

By Thomas Gaist:

Yemen war rages on through first day of humanitarian “cease-fire”

14 May 2015

Despite declarations of a temporary cease-fire to allow humanitarian aid into the country, the Saudi-led Arab coalition continued heavy strikes against Yemen’s southwestern city of Abyan and the northern capital of Sanaa Wednesday, killing at least 70.

The strikes have continued despite Saudi promises of a truce aimed at allowing UN agencies to distribute humanitarian aid to Yemeni cities, where hundreds of thousands of Yemenis face desperate shortages of food, drinkable water, electricity and other basic necessities. At least 700,000 Yemenis are in need of food assistance, according to UN estimates.

For weeks, the Saudi blockade, reinforced by the US Navy, has prevented essential supplies from reaching port, leaving millions without reliable access to water and crippling Yemeni medical centers, which are already battling dire supply shortages.

Estimates place the total number of dead as a result of the Saudi-led assault at around 1,500, with the vast majority believed to be civilians. Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis have been driven from their homes and become refugees since the war began in late March.

US drones also attacked targets inside Yemen this week, including government buildings in the port city of Al Mukalla Wednesday. …

Officials in Tehran announced Wednesday that an Iranian cargo ship has sailed for Yemen loaded with humanitarian supplies. The announcement marks a further escalation of tensions between the US, Saudi and Iranian naval forces now massing around the strategically critical choke-points on either side of the Arabian Peninsula, the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

Recent weeks have seen the strategic waterways transformed into “a tinder box,” according to a commercial risk assessment expert who spoke with Reuters.

US officials immediately denounced the Iranian move as a “political stunt” intended to provoke Washington and Riyadh. Pentagon officials insisted that the Iranian vessel reroute to Djibouti and hand over its cargo for inspection by US and UN officials.

Some 2,000 US Marines are standing by to intervene against any attempt to break the Saudi blockade of Yemen, a US Navy officer told Fox News.

Saudi warships have already begun imposing forced inspections of all ships seeking to dock at Yemeni ports. Saudi officials have insisted publicly that no Iranian vessels will be allowed to reach Yemen without being boarded and thoroughly searched.

Continued reports of intense fighting on the ground have underscored the fact that, official truces notwithstanding, the conflict is escalating. Major clashes continued in Yemen’s southern capital of Aden, where weeks of fighting between the Houthis and militants aligned with the deposed US- and Saudi-backed government have devastated large areas of the city.

Saudi coalition warships joined the action Wednesday, shelling targets including fuel tanks near the historic port city. …

From the beginning, the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen has been backed by the United States, which is determined to retain control over the geostrategically critical country. In remarks Wednesday while meeting with officials from Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE in Paris, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the Obama administration is prepared to reach a “clearer defense arrangement between the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] and other friendly countries and the United States.”

The US is prepared to offer the Gulf elites “a series of new commitments that will create between the US and GCC a new security understanding, a new set of security initiatives that will take us beyond anything we have had before,” Kerry said.

Kerry’s comment came in response to requests from US imperialism’s regional allies that the US formally recognize them as strategic allies on the same level as the NATO powers and Japan.

To discuss the matter, US President Barack Obama is scheduled to hold private meetings with six leading representatives of the Saudi and Gulf dynasties, including several kings, emirs and sultans, at Camp David this week. The meetings aim to assuage fears on the part of the US-allied regimes that the administration’s negotiations with Iran will undercut their own regional interests, which conflict with those of Tehran.

Saudi skittishness over a possible US-Iranian rapprochement likely explains the sudden cancellation of Saudi King Salman’s plans to attend the Camp David meetings.

Nonetheless, in comments to a recent conference at the Atlantic Council, UAE ambassador Yousef Otaiba made clear that the Gulf regimes are prepared to make compromises and “work together” with the Obama administration to secure whatever forms of strategic support Washington remains prepared to offer.

The Saudis and their Gulf partners ultimately “do not have a viable alternative strategic partnership in Moscow or Beijing,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace researcher Karim Sadjadpour told the New York Times this week.

Saudi and Gulf state demands for recognition as full strategic partners of US imperialism represent a grave warning to the Middle Eastern and international working class. National and sectarian-based conflicts, long incited and manipulated by Washington in the service of US domination of the Middle East, are threatening to ignite all-out war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The imminent possibility of such a conflict is increasingly acknowledged in the bourgeois press. “Middle East giants Saudi Arabia and Iran are squaring up on opposing sides in the Yemen war,” Reuters noted in the opening lines of its report Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia vows to set off new Middle East arms race: here.

Why Saudi Arabia is poised to behead a dissident cleric and publicly display his corpse: here.

Beheadings in Saudi Arabia, more and more


This video from Taiwan says about itself:

Sri Lankan faces beheading in Saudi Arabia for ‘witchcraft’

20 April 2012

A Sri Lankan woman was arrested and given the death penalty for allegedly using witchcraft on an unsuspecting 13-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia.

The young girl began acting erratically during a shopping trip in Jeddah after she was in close proximity to the suspected woman. Her father accused the woman of casting a spell on his daughter and reported her to security forces, resulting in her swift arrest.

Witchcraft and sorcery are punishable by the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, a country where court rulings are based on Wahhabism, a strict, ultra-conservative form of Sunni Islam. Other illegal activities under Wahhabism include homosexuality, acting like a tomboy and drinking alcohol.

In September, a Sudanese man was beheaded after being convicted on sorcery charges. A few months later a woman met the same fate. Amnesty International has since began to campaign against such executions.

Translated from daily De Standaard in Belgium today:

In Saudi Arabia on Tuesday yet another man was beheaded with a saber. This was reported by the Interior Ministry. The beheading brings the total number of executions in the country this year to eighty.

Rabih Al-Sayari was sentenced to death for drug smuggling, says the ministry. He was executed Tuesday in Najran, a city in southern Saudi Arabia. This year brought the country already eighty executions, just seven fewer than the total for all of 2014.

Since 2010, when the Gulf monarchy had 27 beheadings, executions have continued to increase. Many human rights organizations express their outrage at regular intervals, but Saudi Arabia carries on.

“Already over 130 beheadings’

According to a representative of Human Rights Watch, the number of beheadings has in reality risen to 135: “And every day there are some more. We are seeing an exponential increase compared to previous years”, the organization says.

Human rights, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, USA


This video says about itself:

Saudi Arabia Beheading

17 January 2015

“I did not commit the murder. I did not commit the murder” cries out the woman as she was dragged off to the street to get beheaded. “I will not forgive you. I will not forgive you” she adds telling her executioners that she will not forgive them for what they were about to do to her. She insists crying out “This is injustice. This is injustice”.

From Middle East Eye:

At GCC summit, Obama must confront Saudi on human rights

Husain Abdulla

Monday 11 May 2015 23:00 BST

Obama needs to take advantage of the upcoming GCC summit to pressure Saudi Arabia on its human rights record

While he was once a candidate promoting the “fierce urgency of now,” US President Barack Obama has approached potential reforms to the Saudi government’s human rights violations with caution. Though he recently promised a “tough conversation” with his Gulf Arab allies on the destabilising effects of their restrictive governing systems, he did not specify when this dialogue would take place. Human rights advocates, myself included, took to the press to inform him that his upcoming security summit with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders was the appropriate venue for this frank exchange. With King Salman bin Abdulaziz’s recent resetting of Saudi succession, however, suitability has transformed into urgency. Even as his time in elected office winds down, Obama must push his allies to reform their repressive practices before a new cohort of Saudi leaders locks them in place for another half-century.

When King Salman promoted Interior Minister Mohammed bin Naif and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman to Crown Prince and Deputy Crown Prince, respectively, some observers hailed the move as a prudent effort to “groom the country’s next generation of leadership”. But if the new line of succession truly marked “the next generation” of Saudi rulers, it represented the same Saudi politics. The reorganisation of the cabinet “concentrated almost all powers under the king” into the hands of two ruling family members who are responsible for some of Saudi Arabia’s most striking human rights abuses.

Under Prince bin Naif’s leadership, the Interior Ministry has purposefully and systematically misconstrued its internal security prerogative, equating dissent with terrorism in order to silence human rights defenders, political activists and members of religious minorities. Utilising specialised criminal courts and a terrorism law that effectively criminalises free speech, the Interior Ministry has brought charges against community activists like Fadhil al-Manasif, human rights advocates like Waleed Abu al-Khair, and religious scholars like Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr. Both al-Manasif and Abu al-Khair were sentenced to 15-year prison terms, and Sheikh Nimr was sentenced to death. As Adam Coogle of Human Rights Watch notes, Prince bin Naif’s efforts to restrict civil society voices are unprecedented.

Like bin Naif, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, just 30 years old, oversees a ministry responsible for committing serious human rights violations. While Prince bin Salman’s Defence Ministry has achieved few of its stated goals in the Yemen campaign, it has succeeded in derailing the former UN envoy’s peace agreement and deepening a massive humanitarian crisis. According to estimates by the UN Children’s Fund and the World Health Organisation, over 500 civilians have been killed in the fighting, including at least 115 children. What little infrastructure remains in the war-torn country – one already teetering on the edge of famine – has been rendered mostly inoperable by Saudi blockades preventing the arrival of supplies. Though his tenure has been brief, Prince bin Salman’s disregard for minimising civilian casualties has set a troubling precedent for future Saudi military operations.

The promotion of these two men signals a significant deterioration of the Saudi government’s already alarming human rights record. Gauging this situation, other leaders may shy away from engaging in a “tough conversation” on human rights and basic freedoms. Obama, however, should recognise that a generational shift can also mark the opportunity for a set of once-in-a-generation reforms. At the Camp David summit, he needs to inform his allies that the status quo is unsustainable, and that their current criminalisation of civil society and perpetuation of humanitarian crises pose the greatest threat to their long-term stability.

As Obama has repeatedly acknowledged, an active civil society is vital to ensuring internal security. In a September 2014 Presidential Memorandum on Civil Society, he wrote: “By giving people peaceful avenues to advance their interests and express their convictions, a free and flourishing civil society contributes to stability and helps to counter violent extremism.”

To weather the challenges posed by extremist groups, activists like Fadhil al-Manasif, Waleed Abu al-Khair and Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr must be promoting peaceful reform in their communities, not languishing in prison or facing execution. At Camp David, President Obama must urge the release of political prisoners and push the Saudi government for greater protections for civil society groups.

While Obama will soon leave the realm of international diplomacy, the next generation of Saudi leaders will remain in politics for decades. Whether they stick with the stability-endangering authoritarian tactics of previous generations will depend, in part, on how the president approaches next week’s GCC summit. He can redefine the security partnership between the US and Saudi Arabia, expanding its prerogatives to encompass the protection of human rights and the guarantee of basic freedoms. This redefinition cannot wait for another summit, or another presidency. The time for urgency is now.

Husain Abdulla, originally from Bahrain, is the founder and executive director of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain. Husain leads the organisation’s efforts to ensure that US policies support the democracy and human rights movement in Bahrain. Husain also works closely with members of the Bahraini-American community to ensure that their voices are heard by US government officials and the broader American public. Husain graduated from the University of South Alabama with a Master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations and a BA in Political Science and Mathematics.

President Obama should urge the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to show greater respect for human rights when he meets them on May 13 and 14, 2015, to discuss partnership and security: here.

Bahrain: End imprisonment of democracy campaigner Nabeel Rajab: here.

Human Rights Defender’s Hunger Strike Protests Torture in Infamous Bahraini Prison: here.

Bahrain: Open Letter from Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja on his 21st day of hunger strike to the High Commissioner for Human Rights: here.

Almusawi stressed on the Bahraini Authorities to allow UN torture expert, Mr. Juan Mendez, to see the victims and those concerned about the allegations of torture, degrading and cruel treatment: here.