Saudi monarchy keeps killing Yemeni children

This video says about itself:

Saudi-led strikes pound Yemen, dozens of women & children killed

5 June 2015

Saudi-led coalition warplanes are continuing to pound Houthi targets in Yemen despite the rebels agreeing to UN-backed peace talks. The strikes have killed 58 people across the country over the past two days, according to the Houthis. And the humanitarian situation is getting worse by the day, according to the UN humanitarian office, but the casualties are coming not only directly from the fighting – the collapse of the infrastructure also means critically ill patients are not receiving treatment.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Many children killed in war on Yemen

Today, 09:55

In the last ten weeks in Yemen more children have been killed than in all of 2014. This says the UNICEF representative in Yemen, Julien Harneis. Since the conflict in the country escalated in late March and the air strikes started by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia, already 279 children were killed and at least 402 children were injured.

The NOS report also says that the royal Saudi air force has escalated the war: for the first time, Mahweet province has been bombed.

Saudi monarchy destroys beautiful historic Yemeni homes

This video says about itself:

Old Sana’a, Yemen – Architecture

25 March 2008

The city of Sana’a is a living museum. Considered to be one of the oldest cities in the world (2,500+ years old), and Old Sana’a protected by UNESCO to prevent new buildings destroying the old, Sana’a is a place where you can spend hours, if not days, wandering the streets and feeling like you’ve stepped back in time. Life here has simply not changed enough to make you feel like it is the 21st century.

The most noticeable aspect of Old Sana’a is the architecture. The buildings are unlike anything else in the Western world, with brown exteriors with whitewashed details, stained glass, and no two buildings that look identical. Most of the buildings are tower houses, which are simply tall buildings with a central staircase that winds its way to the top. In ancient times, the bottom floor was reserved for the animals, while the upper floors were for the kitchen and families. In some cases, this still exists. To see detailed craftsmanship, look at the front doors of each building. Some are new, but many are old…very old, “modernized” by adding a padlock to them. With laws preventing the buildings from being destroyed, and from new buildings being built, the city is literally a living museum.

That was then. Now, however, the royal family of Saudi Arabia, staunch allies of the Pentagon, the CIA and David Cameron in Britain, have decided that their destruction of ancient Islamic buildings in Mecca for their new palace, in their own country, is not enough yet.

They have started destroying beautiful ancient buildings, and the people who live in them, in neighbouring countries.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Unesco furious about bombing of Sanaa

Today, 16:33

Unesco is furious about the bombing of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, early this morning. According to the UN agency “the magnificent complex of traditional houses in the al-Qasimi neighborhood” was destroyed. Houses and historic buildings were damaged and there were at least five deaths.

The Bulgarian UNESCO chief Irina Bokova was “deeply saddened” about the deaths and the damage that has been done. “I am shocked by the images of these magnificent tower houses with their beautiful gardens that now lie in ruins.” The decorated towers made of brick are world famous. They are an integral part of the Yemeni identity and national pride, says UNESCO.

Saudi Arabia

The bombings were carried out by the coalition led by Saudi Arabia. …

Witnesses say that aircraft of the coalition tried to bomb the home of a senior rebel leader and several houses were hit. The impact threatens to make more homes collapse.

This video, from today, is called Yemen: Saudi aircraft bombed the Old Sanaa. It says about itself (my translation from Arabic):

Homes in the historic city of Sanaa were destroyed by air raids by the Saudi aggressors, at dawn on Friday 12 June.

They launched aircraft attacks on the capital, targeting the city’s historic neighbourhoods and Marib Street and Faj Attan.

And the destruction on the first images showed that many historic houses in the old city of Sanaa were destroyed, falling on the heads of their inhabitants, in a new offensive by the Saudi air force against Yemenis.

This video is about an earlier bombing of ancient Sanaa. It says:

UNESCO condemns severe bombing damage to Sanaa old town

13 May 2015

The United Nations cultural agency condemned “severe damage” caused to heritage sites in Yemen, such as Sanaa’s old city, during intense bombing of the Yemeni capital.

UNESCO director general Irina Bokova said the bombing had caused severe damage to many historic buildings in the Yemeni capital, while the old city of Saada and the archaeological site of the pre-Islamic walled city of Baraqish, had also suffered damages.

Sanaa’s old city, situated in a mountain valley, has been inhabited for over 2,500 years and was a major center for the propagation of Islam, boasting over 100 mosques, and over 6,000 houses built before the 11th century. It was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1986.

Saudi flogging for blogging again tomorrow?

This January 2015 video is called Why Saudi Arabia Is Flogging A Free Speech Activist.

By Joshua Keating in the USA:

June 11 2015 11:39 AM

A Saudi Blogger Will Likely Get 50 More Lashes Tomorrow. His Wife Fears He Won’t Survive Them

The Saudi blogger Raif Badawi may receive a second set of 50 lashes tomorrow as part of his sentence for insulting Islam. The 31-year-old, who was first detained in 2012 and has been designated a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes last May for writings on the Saudi Liberal Network, a website he co-founded in 2008 as a forum for discussion on religious and political topics. He received the first of 20 sets of 50 lashes in January, but his sentence was then postponed on medical grounds when doctors determined he was unfit to receive more.

This week, Saudi Arabia’s supreme court upheld Badawi’s sentence, meaning that the weekly lashes can resume. According to Human Rights Watch, the lashings, conducted in front of a mosque in the city of Jeddah, are “generally carried out with a light wooden cane, and the blows are distributed across the back and legs.” Badawi’s wife, who has been granted refugee status in Canada, fears he may not be healthy enough to withstand another session.

Badawi’s sentence has been widely condemned by human rights groups and foreign governments, including the United States, but it’s also a reminder of the uncomfortable fact that a government the U.S. considers one of its main allies in the fight against violent religious extremism is itself a leading perpetrator of violent religious extremism. This is only underscored by the fact that one of the kingdom’s preferred methods of execution, beheading, is the same as that of ISIS.

The beheading of two men for drug trafficking earlier this month brought the number of executions carried out in the kingdom so far this year to 94, compared to 87 in all of last year. The religiously-based Saudi justice system is highly unpredictable: Widely varying punishments are handed down for similar crimes and sentences can take years to be issued, carried out, or appealed.

Given the capricious nature of the system, the reasons for the uptick in harsh sentences are unclear. Saudi Arabia got a new king in January, but the increase in executions preceded his ascension. Some suggest that the government is trying to show strength and fortitude, mollify religious hardliners and intimidate liberals at a time when the country’s stability is threatened by both domestic and international extremists. It’s also possible that the appointment of a number of new judges has eased a backlog in the system and that all the beheadings and floggings are simply, as Adam Taylor of the Washington Post puts it, the “grim result of a better functioning bureaucracy.”

Whatever the reason, a writer may be brutally flogged tomorrow for nothing more than expressing mildly critical opinions about his country’s religious establishment.

Raif Badawi: David Cameron to be urged to help free jailed Saudi blogger: here.