Saudi Arabia might soon taste its own “Arab Spring”


September 15th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

– – – translated by Samer Hussein –

American NGO Human Rights Watch said in its Friday report that dozens of people, prominent clerics including, had been arrested by the Saudi authorities in what was described as a “coordinated crackdown on dissidents.”

According to the New York-based organization, the authorities did not disclose specific reasons for the arrests, but Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said the arrests were politically motivated. 

Saudi activists on Twitter said the ruling wahhabi regime recently arrested at least 20 people, two clerics, Salman Al Awda and Awad Al Qarni, including. Members of the families of some of the detainees confirmed the arrests.

According to the activists, the arrests began on September 9th and included six clerics.

The radical preacher Al Qarni reportedly has millions of followers on social networking sites, and is know for his opposition to the presence of US troops in the kingdom during the 1991 Gulf War. He is accused of being linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Saudi Arabia designates as a terrorist group. He is also known for expressing support for reconciliation with Qatar.

Th two clerics were arrested in time when the first contact between the Crown Prince of the ruling Saudi regime, Mohammed bin Salman and the Emir of the State of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, after a period of three months, was made. 

On June 5th, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt ceased all of their ties with Qatar, and imposed economic sanctions against the country they accused of supporting extremist groups (Muslim Brotherhood including), as well as getting close to Iran and meddling in their internal affairs. 

Human Rights Watch says that since 2014, the ruling wahhabi regime managed to take almost all of its opponents to the specialized criminal court for terrorism cases.

Whitson said the verdicts against peaceful activists and dissidents showed the absence of any form of tolerance by Saudi authorities towards citizens who hold different views on human rights and reforms.

Earlier in the week, the Saudi Public Prosecutor’s Office warned against “endangering national unity, disrupting the constitution or some of its articles, harming the reputation or position of the state, as well as any individual or collective action, aimed at destabilizing the public order.”

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