Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Using “War on Terrorism” to Crush Pro Democracy Advocates

Director’s Comment: Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and their unprecedented, far-reaching repercussions domestically and globally, the Saudi government has embarked on a hunting program ostensibly to catch and incarcerate alleged terrorists and terrorists to be. For this effort, the Saudi government has been showered with sycophantically praises, specifically from its Western friends and supporters. Famous for its arbitrary arrests and imprisonment of people without charges and/or trials for months and years, many Saudi citizens and human rights groups have been raising questions about the extensive waves of arrests, and whether the Saudi government is actually using “War on Terrorism” to destroy pro-democracy Saudi citizens. "Using the anti-terror campaign has been the conspicuous Saudi policy to arrest and harass political reformists and human-rights activists," says Mohammed al-Qahtani, co-founder of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, which has become the most public face of a maturing national civil-rights movement.

As the attached account indicates, the state’s methods of arbitrary arrests and incarceration remain unaltered. The highly contested case of prominent pro political reformist “Suliman al-Reshoudi, a 73-year-old former judge turned activist” seems to attest to the fact that the Saudi judicial system has not changed despite King Abdullah’s royal decrees to modernize the religiously controlled institution. The Saudi autocratic monarchs consider political activists more dangerous to their control than religious extremists. This is evidenced by the fact that many extremist clerics are on the government’s payroll.

It might be prudent for the US government, companies and other institutions to reconsider their cooperation with the Saudi government when dealing with war on terrorism or siding with the Saudi government against its people. The Saudi people are very astute; they could tell if the West is contributing to their oppression by collaborating with their repressive regime and its institutions, such as the Saudi Ministry of Interior. Read article


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