Saudi beheading for opposing banning of music?


This 16 February 2018 video, in Arabic with English subtitles, says about itself:

Male-female interaction (free mixing) allowed in Islam (Shaykh Hasan ibn Farhan al-Maliki)

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Saudi Arabia wants to kill religious reformer for his ideas about Islam”

Human Rights Watch warns that the Saudi authorities want to impose the death penalty on a moderate religious thinker based on a series of vague indictments. The Islamic cleric has been detained since September 2017, according to the human rights organization because he is calling for reform of religious rules in Saudi Arabia.

This Hassan Farhan al-Maliki is said to have criticized, eg, clergy who ban music. He is said also have argued for freedom of religion. His opponents believe that his ideas are in conflict with Wahabism, the conservative tendency of Islam followed in Saudi Arabia.

According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudi authorities call him an extremist who has insulted the rulers of the country.

“Does not match with statements of crown prince

The prosecution of the clergyman is not in line with the statements by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, human rights activists say. Bin Salman has said that he wants to introduce a more moderate version of Islam into Saudi Arabia and thus open up the country to the rest of the world.

“Reforms only really take place if thinkers like al-Maliki can express themselves freely without fear of being arrested or even executed“, says Human Rights Watch.

“Now the Saudi authorities want to put a man to death because he criticizes clergy who ban music. Meanwhile, Saudi leaders pay millions to public relations corporations to show how progressive they are by allowing concerts by western artists in Saudi Arabia.”

More criticism

International criticism has been made of the reform policy announced by the Saudi crown prince two years ago. Critics say that little has changed in practice and point to all the intellectuals and clerics who have been arrested since bin Salman said he wants to introduce a more moderate Islam.

Including jailing the women activists who made it possible for women to drive cars in torture prisons, threatening them with beheading.

The crown prince was also criticized for having been involved in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia still fighting the war in neighboring Yemen.

TRUMP DEFENDS ‘BIG BUYER’ SAUDI ARABIA President Donald Trump shrugged off his own government’s report that Saudi Arabian leadership ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, stressing that the Middle Eastern kingdom is a “big buyer” of U.S. products. [HuffPost]

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‘Investigate Saudi crown prince for murdering journalist’


This 19 June 2019 video says about itself:

U.N. Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard gives live interview as her final report on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is released.

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

United Nations rapporteur wants investigation of role of Saudi Crown Prince in Khashoggi case

A UN Special Rapporteur wants a criminal investigation into the role of high-ranking Saudis in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The UN must insist that the responsibility of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman should also be looked at, says the special UN rapporteur for extrajudicial executions Agnes Callamard in a report.

“The guilt has not yet been established. The only conclusion is that there is credible evidence and that further investigation is needed”, she writes. According to her, Crown Prince Mohammed played a key role in the campaign against dissidents. She considers it unthinkable that an operation like this could take place without his knowledge.

Saudi Arabia did not cooperate in the investigation. Callamard was not allowed to interrogate people in that country. She was also not allowed to enter the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where Khashoggi was murdered on October 2 last year.

She did have access to sound recordings made by the Turkish secret service in the consulate. Khashoggi came to the consulate in Istanbul to arrange papers for his marriage. According to Callamard, two Saudi secret agents spoke shortly before his arrival how they would cut his body into pieces.

Once inside, Khashoggi was told that he would be taken to Saudi Arabia, the recordings show. His interrogator instructed him to send an email to his son. Then sounds of struggle can be heard. Khashoggi must have been killed afterwards. His remains have not been found.

Eleven suspects are on trial for the murder in Saudi Arabia. That happens behind closed doors. The names of most suspects were not disclosed.

So, there is a kangaroo court trial for a few low-level fall guys. Aiming at beheading them, so they won’t ever be able to tell who (His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman) ordered them to murder Khashoggi.

CALL FOR SAUDI PRINCE TO BE INVESTIGATED OVER KHASHOGGI DEATH An independent UN human rights expert investigating the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is calling for an investigation into the possible involvement of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, citing “credible evidence”. [AP]

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.

Saudis tortured, beheaded for peacemongering, pro-democracy demonstration


This 7 June 2019 video says about itself:

Saudi Arabia Wants To Crucify Murtaja Qureiris

The Saudi regime intends to have the death penalty for Murtaja Qureiris for peacefully demonstrating for democracy when he was ten years old.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

US-backed Saudi regime tortures dissidents on eve of threatened beheadings

8 June 2019

Saudi Arabia’s US-backed monarchical dictatorship has savagely tortured political prisoners facing imminent execution by means of public beheading, according to reports by human rights organizations.

The Saudi human rights organization Al Qst told Al Jazeera that “prisoners are being tortured during interrogations” at the country’s maximum-security prisons. The founder of Al Qst, Yahya Assiri, said the methods of torture routinely used against political prisoners include “electrocution, waterboarding and suspending victims from the ceiling by their hands.”

Amnesty International has reported that women’s rights activists have also been targets of “brutal” physical and psychological torture, including sexual abuse by masked men. Victims of these torture sessions, the human rights group said, “were unable to walk or stand properly, had uncontrolled shaking of the hands and marks on the body. One of the activists reportedly attempted to take her own life repeatedly inside the prison.”

Among those subjected to this horrific abuse and reportedly slated for execution in the immediate aftermath of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ended this week, are three men described as “moderate” Muslim scholars—Sheikh Salman al-Odah, Awad al-Qarni and Ali al-Omari—who fell afoul of the regime headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler and Washington’s closest ally in the Arab world.

Salman al-Odah, Awad al-Qarni and Ali al-Omari

Al-Odah is known internationally as a “progressive” Islamic scholar; al-Qarni is an academic, author and preacher; al-Omari is a popular broadcaster. All three are prominent public figures in Saudi Arabia. Al-Odah has 14 million followers on Twitter throughout the Arab world. Al-Qarni has some 2.2 million Twitter followers and al-Omari half a million.

All three men were arrested in September 2017, al-Odah after tweeting a prayer for reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which has been subjected to a Saudi-led blockade for the last two years, in large measure because of Qatari economic and political cooperation with Iran.

Al-Qarni was fined and instructed by the monarchical regime to cease all activity on Twitter after he issued statements denouncing corruption and political tyranny. Al-Omari came under the regime’s scrutiny after using his television show to call for greater rights for Saudi women.

Al Jazeera cited human rights activists as stating that both Salman al-Odah and Awad al-Qarni have been hospitalized as result of the damage done by torture sessions and solitary confinement. Ali al-Omari, they reported, has burns and injuries all over his body as a result of electric shock torture inflicted during a year of solitary confinement.

All three are facing the death sentence on the basis of trumped-up “terrorism” charges in the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh. Two Saudi government sources and a relative confirmed to the online publication Middle East Eye (MEE) that the government planned to execute the three men soon after Ramadan.

One of these sources also told MEE that the killing spree carried out in April, in which 37 men were decapitated with swords in a single day, most of them Shias charged in connection with the mass protests that swept Saudi Arabia’s predominantly Shiite Eastern Province beginning in 2011, constituted a “trial balloon.”

The House of Saud, according to the report, carried out the mass executions—which included the crucifixion of one of the headless corpses—to test international reaction before putting to death its more publicly prominent political prisoners. It was reportedly satisfied that the bloodbath provoked barely a murmur, and even less than that from its key patron and ally, Washington.

The mass beheadings followed by barely five months the assassination and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident and journalist and former regime insider, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The brief flurry of media attention to this shocking international crime subsided after the Trump administration made it clear it had no intention of holding bin Salman responsible for ordering and directing the state murder.

The parasitical Saudi monarchy’s understanding that it can carry out its bloody crimes with impunity has been reinforced by the intervention of the Trump White House to override Congress by declaring a state of emergency in order to expedite arms sales to the Saudi kingdom. The Trump administration’s action will allow the Raytheon Company to ship 120,000 bombs to Riyadh, restocking the murderous arsenal it has used to slaughter some 80,000 Yemenis during a four-year-long war that has brought millions in the country to the brink of starvation.

The arms package also includes support for the Saudi F-15 warplanes that are carrying out the bombardment of Yemen, as well as mortars, antitank missiles and rifles. It has been justified by the Trump administration as necessary to counter “Iranian aggression.” The reality is that Saudi Arabia and its fellow Sunni oil monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are spending as much as nine times more than Iran on military hardware.

Among those facing beheading in the next round of Saudi mass executions is Murtaja Qureiris, who was arrested at age of 13 and has been sentenced to death for “crimes” he committed when, as a 10-year-old boy, he participated in a bicycle protest in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.

Murtaja Qureiris, arrested at 13, tortured and facing beheading

At least three of those put to death in the last round of mass beheadings in April were minors at the time of their alleged offenses, making their executions a flagrant violation of international laws barring capital punishment for minors. Among them was Abdulkarim al-Hawaj, who was 16 when he was arrested and charged with participating in demonstrations and using social media to incite opposition to the monarchy. He was convicted based on a confession extracted through torture, including electric shocks and being held with his hands chained above his head.

Also murdered in April was Mujtaba al-Sweikat, who was 17 when he was arrested at King Fahd International Airport. He was grabbed as he prepared to board a plane to the United States to begin life as a student at Western Michigan University. He was severely tortured and beaten, including on the soles of his feet, until he provided his torturers with a confession.

The torture chambers and public beheadings of the House of Saud are the clearest expression of Washington’s role in the Middle East. With all of the US state and media propaganda about “democracy”, “human rights” and a “war on terrorism”, it is founded upon mass murder, naked state terrorism and the torture and execution of children. All of these crimes are committed to further the predatory interests of US imperialism in its efforts to assert hegemony over the energy-rich and geostrategically critical region, and to push back the influence of Iran, Russia and China.

In the end, reliance upon the House of Saud as the keystone of US imperialist interests can end only in a debacle, with the intensification of the class struggle in both the Middle East and the United States itself.

Sudan dictatorship massacres own people for Saudi royals


This 31 December 2018 video says about itself:

The War In Yemen: Saudi Arabia recruits Sudanese child soldiers

Saudi Arabia has been recruiting children from desperate families in the war-torn African nation to pad up its frontlines in the Yemen war, the New York Times reported. How credible are these reports of Sudanese child soldiers fighting in Yemen? Journalist Hussain Albukhaiti explains.

Translated from Carlijne Vos in Dutch daily De Volkskrant, 5 June 2019:

Already 60 dead in the crackdown on Sudan protests, led by new strongman Hemedti

The attacks with which Sudanese security forces have been trying to put an end to peaceful protests since Monday have already killed at least 60 people. The protesters reported this in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. The crackdown was probably triggered by one man: General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, nicknamed Hemedti. Who is he?

As vice-president of the TMC (Transitional Military Council), Hemedti has emphatically come to the fore. Now, the 44-year-old general suddenly seems to have had enough of the civilian protests and has sent his paramilitarists, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). This militia, which was responsible for the war crimes in Darfur under their old name Janjaweed, is now being “loaned” to Saudi Arabia to fight against the Houthi rebels in Yemen

The Sudanese dictatorship does not just ‘loan’ Janjaweed gunmen, but also child soldiers to the Saudi regime’s bloody war on the people of Yemen.

and are deployed with European Union million euros support along the border to stop migrants from going to Europe.

The demonstrators hoped with their protest actions to force the military to agree to the establishment of a civilian government. …

Visit

Last week Hemedti suddenly called on the protesters to put an end to the sit-ins because they threatened order and security in Sudan. Hemedti had just returned from a visit to Saudi crown prince Bin Salman. Since then, there has been widespread speculation about a possible power grab by Hemedti. “Hemedti planned on becoming the number one man in Sudan. He has unlimited ambition”, an opposition member told The Guardian.

According to the Sudanese journalist and sympathizer of the protest organisation Sudanese Association for Professionals (SPA), Mohammed Abdelrahman, Hemedti’s actions are largely determined by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Emirates. These countries are not keen on the transfer of power to civilians – for fear of civilian uprisings in their own countries – and want the army to keep a firm grip. “Hemedti has received a lot of money from them in exchange for his militia support in Yemen. There is a lot of resistance within the opposition to the Sudanese involvement in Yemen, so Hemedti is now trying to silence them”, Abdelrahman, who lives in the Netherlands, says on the phone. “Moreover, there are also many Darfuris in the opposition, against which he has no chance when elections come.” …

The military transition council TMC announced Tuesday morning after the clash with the opposition to organize new elections in nine months. The Declaration of Forces of Freedom and Change (DFCF), the alliance of all protest parties, has rejected this proposal and calls for a general strike and “civil disobedience” until the transition council has handed over power. …

Hemedti now presents himself to his allies Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt as the strongman … The first evidence is that the Qatari news channel Al Jazeera was suddenly banned last month.

40 BODIES PULLED FROM NILE More than 40 bodies of people slain by Sudanese security forces were pulled from the Nile River in the capital of Khartoum, organizers of pro-democracy demonstrations said, and new clashes brought the death toll in three days of the ruling military’s crackdown to 108. [AP]

The counter-revolutionary bloodbath launched by the junta in Sudan’s capital Khartoum and its twin city Omdurman ongoing since Monday has killed some 100 people, including an eight-year old child, and injured hundreds more: here.