Saudi Arabian Prince defects

Saudi prince defects: ‘Brutality, oppression as govt scared of Arab revolts’ 

 August 12, 2013

Saudi Arabia, a major supporter of opposition forces in Syria, has increased crackdown on its own dissenters, with 30,000 activists reportedly in jail. In an exclusive interview to RT a Saudi prince defector explained what the monarchy fears most.

Saudi Arabia has stepped up arrests and trials of peaceful dissidents, and responded with force to demonstrations by citizens,” Human Rights Watch begins the country’s profile on its website.

Political parties are banned in Saudi Arabia and human rights groups willing to function legally have to go no further than investigating things like corruption or inadequate services. Campaigning for political freedoms is outlawed.

One of such groups, which failed to get its license from the government, the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), was cited by AFP as saying the kingdom was holding around 30,000 political prisoners.

Saudi Prince Khaled Bin Farhan Al-Saud, who spoke to RT from Dusseldorf, Germany, confirmed reports of increased prosecution of anti-government activists and said that it’s exactly what forced him to defect from his family. He accused the monarchy of corruption and silencing all voices of dissent and explained how the Saudi mechanism for suppression functioned.

There is no independent judiciary, as both police and the prosecutor’s office are accountable to the Interior Ministry. This ministry’s officials investigate ‘crimes’ (they call them crimes), related to freedom of speech. So they fabricate evidence, don’t allow people to have attorneys”, the prince told RT Arabic. “Even if a court rules to release such a ‘criminal’, the Ministry of Interior keeps him in prison, even though there is a court order to release him. There have even been killings! Killings! And as for the external opposition, Saudi intelligence forces find these people abroad! There is no safety inside or outside the country.”

The strong wave of oppression is in response to the anti-government forces having grown ever more active. A new opposition group called Saudi Million and claiming independence from any political party was founded in late July. The Saudi youths which mostly constitute the movement say they demand the release of political prisoners and vow to hold regular demonstrations, announcing their dates and locations via Facebook and electronic newspapers.

Human rights violations are driving people on to the streets despite the fear of arrest, according to activist Hala Al-Dosari, who spoke to RT from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

We have issues related to political and civil rights, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. These are the main issues that cause a lot of people to be at risk for just voicing out their opinions or trying to form associations, demonstrate or protest, which is banned by the government.”

The loudest voice of the Saudi opposition at the moment is a person called ‘Saudi Assange’. His Twitter name is @Mujtahidd, he keeps his identity and whereabouts secret and is prolific in online criticism of the ruling family, which has gained him over a million followers.

The regime can destroy your credibility easily and deter people from dealing with you if your identity is public,” Mujtahid wrote to RT’s Lindsay France in an email.

Prince Khalid Bin Farhan Al-Saud announced his defection from the Saudi Arabian royal family on July 27.

They don’t think about anything but their personal benefits and do not care for the country’s and people’s interests, or even national security,” his statement reads as cited by the website of Tehran-based Al Alam International News Channel.

The prince criticized the royal family for silencing all voices calling for reforms and said he learned of the common Saudis’ sufferings having gone through “horrible personal experience,” without specifying exactly what it was.

The Twitter activist’s anonymity is understandable. The most recent example of what can happen to activists is the case of Raif Badawi, the founder of the Free Saudi Liberals website, who was found guilty of insulting Islam through his online forum and sentenced the activist to 600 lashes and seven years in prison.

In June, seven people were sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for ‘inciting protests’ via Facebook. The indicted denied charges and said they were tortured into confession.

The government is obviously scared of the Arab revolutions. And they’ve responded as they usually do: by resorting to oppression, violence, arbitrary law, and arrest,” Prince Khaled says, adding that so far the tougher the measures the government took to suppress the dissent, the louder that dissent’s voice was.

The opposition used to demand wider people’s representation in governing bodies, more rights and freedoms. But the authorities reacted with violence and persecution, instead of a dialogue. So the opposition raised the bar. It demanded constitutional monarchy, similar to what they have in the UK, for example. And the Saudi regime responded with more violence. So now the bar is even higher. Now the opposition wants this regime gone.”

There was a time, at the beginning of the Arab Spring movement in the region in 2011, when the government tried to appease opposition activists by a $60 billion handout program by King Abdullah, according to Pepe Escobar, a correspondent for the Asia Times. He calls that move an attempt to “bribe” the population. However there was also a stick with this carrot.

The stick is against the Shiite minority – roughly 10 percent of Saudi Arabia – who live in the Eastern province where most of the oil is, by the way. They don’t want to bring down the House of Saud essentially. They want more participation, judiciary not answering to religious powers and basically more democratic freedoms. This is not going to happen in Saudi Arabia. Period. Nor in the other Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] petro-monarchies”.

Escobar points out the hypocrisy of the Saudi Arabian rulers, who feel free to advise other regional powers on how to move towards democracy, despite their poor human rights record.

They say to the Americans that they are intervening in Syria for a more democratic post-Assad Syria and inside Saudi Arabia it’s the Sunni-Shiite divide. They go against 10 percent of their own population.”

‘Buying favors from West’

Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on opposition has been strongly condemned by human rights organizations, but not by Western governments, which usually claim sensitivity to such issues.

The White House certainly does maintain a long-standing alliance with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, cemented by common political, economic and military interests in the Middle East,” said Prince Khaled.

Germany came under fierce criticism last week over its arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, which have almost tripled in just two years, from 570 million euro in 2011 to almost one-and-a-half billion in 2012.

And Angela Merkel’s government has approved weapons exports of more than 800 million euro in the first half of this year – suggesting the level will continue to grow.

With arms they [Gulf States] are also buying favors from the West. They are insuring the maintenance of their legitimacy on spending massive amounts of money that are pouring into Western economies,” Dr. Ahmed Badawi, co-executive director of Transform, which studies conflicts and political developments, told RT.

In 2012, Amnesty International claimed that German-made small firearms, ammunition and military vehicles were commonly used by Middle Eastern and North African regimes to suppress peaceful demonstrations.

Small arms are becoming real weapons of mass destruction in the world now. There is absolutely no way to guarantee that the weapons that are being sold legally to countries like Saudi Arabia, even Egypt, do not fall into the hands of terrorists. The two important examples are German assault rifles found in the regions in Mexico and also in Libya. And there’s absolutely no way of knowing how these weapons ended up there,” Badawi said. Source  Videos at source.

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Published in: on August 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm  Comments Off on Saudi Arabian Prince defects  
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Syria: A few Insights

Syrian rebels have issued a ban on women using make up or wearing “immodest dress” in a neighborhood in the city of Aleppo. Critics have blasted the move as another attempt by Islamists to impose Sharia in rebel-controlled territory.

The fatwa (an order based on Sharia law) was issued by the Islamic law council in Aleppo’s Fardous neighborhood.

Muslim women are banned from leaving the house in immodest dress, in tight clothing that shows off their bodies or wearing makeup on their face. It is incumbent on all our sisters to obey God and commit to Islamic etiquette,” the statement on the Fardous council’s Facebook page says as cited by Reuters, which reports that Aleppo residents have confirmed the news.

Some of the comments showed support for the ruling, arguing there was nothing wrong in requiring that people follow “certain etiquette in public“. Critics lashed out at the Islamist-led rebels for abusing their power.

The women’s clothing fatwa has been viewed as the latest example of Islamic radicalism growing within rebel-controlled Syrian areas.

A video released a few days ago features public beheadings of alleged Assad loyalists.

The executed men were Christians according to some media reports, with one of the dead being a priest. Various local sources have accused Jabhat al Nusra – the Al Qaeda-affiliated radical Islamist group opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad– of carrying out the killings.

At the beginning of June a teenage boy in the northern city of Aleppo was allegedly executed for blasphemy in front of his family by an al-Qaeda-affiliated opposition group.

But European MP Nick Griffin, who was in Damascus with a fact-finding delegation in June, argues Syrians are not going to accept the implementation of harsh Sharia laws.

We’ve been able to talk with ordinary Syrians at all sorts of different levels. Something that comes out from all those people who we speak to is that Syria wasn’t perfect, but it was a secular and tolerant state where no one even cared if someone was Sunni or Shia or Christian or Jewish,” Griffin told RT after his visit.

Imposing Sharia could backfire against the anti-Assad forces as the most recent events in Egypt suggest. The 2011 revolt saw Islamists come to power in the North African state and attempt to push through a Sharia constitution. The move eventually sparked an even greater uprising, with millions now in the streets protesting the “islamization” of their country.

All [Morsi] has done is introduce or he tried to introduce that fundamental constitution that would turn Egypt into a Sharia state. Most Egyptians don’t want that. They want to have their religion in private, but not to have the state dictate to them exactly what it is going to look like,” political analyst and author William Engdahl told RT.

Source

The Vatican has confirmed the brutal beheading of a Catholic priest by Syrian rebels.

Under Assad Christians had religious freedom, but the Rebels persecute them.

Syrian Rebels Massacre Christian Village Report from May 20 2013 Many of the Rebels are not from Syria, but come from other countries

Syrian rebels execute teenage boy for ‘heresy’

From May 31 2013

Turkish security forces found a 2kg cylinder with sarin gas after searching the homes of Syrian militants from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front who were previously detained, Turkish media reports. The gas was reportedly going to be used in a bomb.

The sarin gas was found in the homes of suspected Syrian Islamists detained in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersia following a search by Turkish police on Wednesday, reports say. The gas was allegedly going to be used to carry out an attack in the southern Turkish city of Adana.

On Monday, Turkish special anti-terror forces arrested 12 suspected members of the Al-Nusra Front, the Al-Qaeda affiliated group which has been dubbed “the most aggressive and successful arm” of the Syrian rebels. The group was designated a terrorist organization by the United States in December. For the rest go HERE

Then of course we have a Rebel cutting out the heart of a Soldier and eating it. You can do a google search to get that one.

These are the things Death Squads do. So are there Death Squads in Syria?  Look for those masked Rebels and you will find the answer.

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During civil wars in which the US does not want to be seen getting its hands dirty in Latin America, the superpower loans Israel money at a very good rate, and then Israel uses these funds to do the “dirty work”. In this regard, in Latin America at least, Israel has become the hit-man for the US. For the rest go HERE

 HERE is a search of Death Squad uses by the US

Under the “Leahy Law,” named after Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, the U.S. government is not allowed to fund foreign military units who have committed gross human rights violations with impunity.

That being said, how many countries, have the US helped finance/fund their military, that commit Human Rights violations with impunity?

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Published in: on July 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm  Comments Off on Syria: A few Insights  
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Shoe Bush? JANUARY 19th

Why Shoe Bush?

By David Swanson,

Our president stood in a nation he had illegally invaded and occupied, where his actions had caused over 1.2 million deaths, 5 million people forced out of their homes, millions more deprived of electricity or clean water and afraid to walk the streets. He stood smiling in a nation he had transformed into a living hell, a place where everyone had seen loved ones and neighbors killed. And when Muntadar Al-Zeidi threw two shoes at him, our president remarked “I don’t know what his beef is.”

But billions of people around the world believed that the pretended obliviousness of George W. Bush to the pain and suffering he was inflicting had gone on as long as they could stand if not much longer, and Al-Zeidi became a hero overnight. His two shoes punctured the Bush veil of separation, the distance Bush pretends to imagine exists between his decisions and the human limbs scattered in the sand of his colony. And while the U.S. media pretended to wonder whether the water torture was “really” torture, the United States and its puppet government in Iraq inflicted on Al-Zeidi one of the more commonly employed torture techniques of the Bush regime: they beat him and broke his bones.

In an ideal world, it would be enough to present the evidence of crimes for Bush, Cheney, and their criminal subordinates to be prosecuted and convicted. In this world, we’ve presented that evidence for years, and we are still in a climate in which Bush and Cheney blissfully admit their crimes, apparently believing that they render prosecution less likely by declaring their own crimes acceptable. While lies may take hold more easily the bigger they are, big lies also collapse quickly, as when a child points to a naked emperor, or a journalist throws his shoes.

We have a president-elect who can save himself from engaging in criminal wars and occupations, in torture and other war crimes, in warrantless spying and other violations of our Constitution, only by prosecuting the actions of his predecessor. Not to prosecute is itself a crime. If we are going to persuade the president elect, we must first persuade the U.S. media, and the U.S. media is not attracted by facts and information. The U.S. media is attracted by throwing shoes.

Bush’s last act is expected to be the unprecedented pardoning of crimes he authorized. This has never before been done, and to do so is to drop all claim to being a nation of laws. Thanks to the example set by Al-Zeidi, since emulated by people all over the world, we will know exactly how to make our response visible when those pardons come.

Join us at the White House at 11 a.m. on January 19th

Full calendar of events in DC in January

ABOUT THE SHOES FOR BUSH ACTION

On Monday, January 19th on President Bush’s last day in office, people will gather at 11:00am at a site near the White House (TBA) for what will be a cathartic action of hurling shoes at the White House. We will be acting in the spirit of Mutadhar Al-Zaidi, the journalist who threw his shoes at Bush during a press conference on behalf of the widows, orphans and all those killed in Iraq, and in solidarity with the Iraqi people as well as all of those who have suffered under the Bush regime.

To watch Bush leave office and not be held accountable for war crimes and impeachable offenses is like rubbing salt into the wound.

This action may not take away all of the pain suffered during the Bush regime but we will get satisfaction from the statement the act makes. The shoe hurling will be a historic marker. The visual of thousands of people hurling shoes at the White House as Bush leaves office will go around the globe and the people all over the world will let out a collective cheer. Please join us in being part of history!

If you will be in DC for the Inaugural, please bring an extra pair of shoes with you and join us! If possible collect shoes from your friends and meet us at 11:00 at a location to be announced. Please check back on this site.

Organizers are setting up SHOE COLLECTION HUBS and we need your assistance. Please volunteer to have your residence be a place for people to bring their shoes. Then people who are driving to DC can bring the shoes with them.
Please visit our SHOE COLLECTION HUB page on this web site.

OR you may mail your shoes to SHOES FOR BUSH
PO BOX (forthcoming) Kennebunk, ME  04043
There are no bomb sniffing dogs at our post office! Only a very annoyed post master.

We will be transporting your shoes in a U-Haul to DC.

Please consider writing a note to put in your shoes as we will be reading them at the assembly site. Artists—be creative make art with your shoes.

After the action all shoes will be donated to the needy in the Washington DC area.

SHOES FOR BUSH ACTION


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Published in: on December 24, 2008 at 7:25 am  Comments Off on Shoe Bush? JANUARY 19th  
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