Saudi Arabia Sentences Two Leading Civil Libertarians To Long Prison Stints

206378_1053429857926_389_n200px-Coat_of_arms_of_Saudi_Arabia.svgThe hope for reforms in Saudi Arabia remain a roller coaster ride for civil libertarians. On Saturday, a Saudi Arabian court sentenced two prominent political and human rights activists to at least 10 years in prison for protesting the policies of the Kingdom and speaking with the media. Mohammed Fahd al-Qahtani (shown right) and Abdullah Hamad are founding members of the banned Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, known as Acpra, which documents human rights abuses. The group also has called for a constitutional monarchy and elections. The exercise of basic rights of free speech and association that led to the banning of the group and now the sentencing of its leaders.

While Saudi Arabia continually objects to the treatment of Muslims in other countries and demands equal treatment, it denies basic free speech and free exercise rights to people in the Kingdom. The nation remains under the tight grip of the ruling family and clerics of the ultra-conservative Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam.

Qahtani was sentenced to 10 years. Hamad was told he must complete the remaining six years of a previous jail term for his political activities and serve an additional five years. In one reform, the trial itself was public but the government continues to prosecute people for exercising the basic human right of free speech. The Interior Ministry insists that the men tried to stir up protests and spread “false information” on social media. Who needs false information when the Saudi Interior Ministry supplies a steady diet of abuses for public consumption?

Qahtani is an economics professor whose courage clearly equals his intellect. The refusal of these civil libertarians to yield is an inspiration for people around the globe. They are willing to surrender their life and liberty for the Saudi people and someday I expect they will be vindicated for their sacrifices.

Source: CS Monitor

28 thoughts on “Saudi Arabia Sentences Two Leading Civil Libertarians To Long Prison Stints”

  1. “Saudi Arabia won’t be changing their stripes anytime soon. Maybe a Saudi Spring will sprout soon??”

    I cannot imagine the US Government would ever allow that to happen

  2. The United Nations. Hmmm. That implies a collection of Nation States who are united in something or other. A nation is a place with rule of law, and that includes policing thieves, pirates, gonade exercisers, protestors who protest too much and those who deny others basic human rights. So, if you knocked out about sixty members you would have an organization of Nation States. One test is whether your Embassy is safe from mobs. If you need to provide troops and CIA or KGB to stop the mobs then its not a nation state it is a Pirate Territory like Libya or Saudi Arabia.

  3. Saudi Arabia won’t be changing their stripes anytime soon. Maybe a Saudi Spring will sprout soon??

  4. While Saudi Arabia continually objects to the treatment of Muslims in other countries and demands equal treatment, it denies basic free speech and free exercise rights to people in the Kingdom.
    Maybe they would like the treatment Kuwait got. They were going to be next.

  5. Seems the Muslim world doesn’t know how to forgive their tresspassers, but that doesn’t mean we should be just like them.

  6. You think we are learning from them or they are earning from us…. How many whistle blowers have been imprisoned here….

  7. It will take more than lawyers. guns and money to get those two chumps out of Saudi Arabia. Of course, What where they thinking! A civil libertarian who is out front about it is about as likely to survive as a Nazi General in Moscow in 1944.

  8. ConLawDog: Warren Zevon wrote and sang Lawyers Guns and Money. NOT Waylon Jennings.

  9. Move the UN to Switzerland. I am tired of all of the tentheads in NYC with diplomatic immunity who run with prostitutes and gamble. When I visit there with my half blind guy as his guide dog we get squeezed out of the cathouses by these rich schmucks from Saudi Arabia and Libya. Blind guy says that they carry diseases too. The gals say that they stink. They pay in dollars and we pay at the tank.

  10. “East of Corfu, the Ten Commandments do not apply.”
    –Rudyard Kipling.

    “Send lawyers guns and money, Lord, get me out of this!”
    –Waylon Jennings

  11. Remember the song they sang on Saturday Night Live about thirty years ago when the pirates (sorry “Students”) held our Embassy personnel hostage for over a year? It was called Bomb, Bomb, Iran! What would be good for a place that sends over eleven pirates with box cutters to hijack planes and take out Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the White House would be some bombs laid on the home pirate territory. Anyone who wears a tent on their head should be fair game and anyone who wears a tent on their head and heads up a so called Nation State, needs to be considered a pirate. Oil wealth does not make them civilized. They send some schmuck to Oxford and make him their Ambassador to the UN and all is forgotten about the desert rats and pirates back home.

  12. A “civil libertarian” in Saudia Arabia is like a preacher in a cathouse in Vegas. He is more likely there to get laid than to preach and if he is there to preach then he is dumber than dirt and probably without gonads.

  13. You do not get it. This is Pirate Territory. Whether they come out in a row boat and board your pleasure boat with machine guns, or they grab you on land, they are Pirates. Let me explain for the illliterate. Start by going across from Spain to the African Continent, go East young man and keep going until you get to India. India is ok. It picks up again until you get to Australia or Hawaii.

    All of this outrage about Benghazi is really dumb. All of the ignoring of the Saudi guys with box cutters who took out the Twin Towers is dumb. The insurance comjpanies who pay ransoms to Pirates in Yemen, Somalia and the other places are dumb. Tourists who visit Egypt are dumb.

    One easy definition of a Pirate Territory is whether the so called government in power can control a mob from mobbing an Embassy. If the United States has to have armed forces in play to protect an Embassy then its Pirate Territory. That is Libya. Second factor would be no rule of law for non Muslims or non Pirates. Another thing to look at is which European “power” was the “coloinia lpower” that formerly ran the joint. The former colonies of England fair better than those of Spain or Italy and the Frogs are in between. The recent incursion by France into Algeria and Mali shows that they at least have some conscience as well as understanding of what a Pirate Territory is.

    America sat through the nonsense about the “Studends” in Iran who took over our Embassy thirty years ago. When Iranian “students” drop a nuclear bomb on the UN in NYC then you might get the picture. Pirate Territory!

    So, dear readers, do not be aghast when some place like Saudia Arabia strings somebody up for carrying a Bible in their luggage. Do not be dumb enough to travel there on some assumption that because they have some schmuck at the UN who went to Oxford that they are a civilized nation or a “nation state”. Fly over if you must. But if you do please flush.

  14. The realm of Oil-Qaeda was so cute in its infancy, around the turn of the 19th-20th century.

    They are now our ugly drug peddlers who care little for much of anything except peddling their ubiquitous drug as they practice the bully religion.

  15. Our friends the Saudis, supporters of terrorism and autocratic theocrats! We lecture the Chinese regularly on their human rights abuses but the Suadis and the other countries of the Middle East get a pass. Prosecutions for blasphemy are met not with protests but with cooperation in the drafting of an international blasphemy statute and more and more money.

    Is it that we are so stupid we don’t realize what we are doing or is it that our leaders pine for the kind of all encompassing power that the House of Saud possesses.

  16. Lets hope our rights don’t drop that low! The west should protest strongly but our government is so bent on reducing our rights that it could soon look hypercritical.

  17. Par!!!!! for the course………. If you can’t silence descent, put it in jail……..

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