The Saudi Association for Civil and Political Rights is a respected organization established by intellectuals who seek to protect human rights in the Kingdom and the creation of both democratic and legal institutions that guarantee such rights. Not surprising, the Saudi government has treated such ideas as terroristic threats and has jailed many of its members. The latest is one of the founders Issa al-Hamid who was convicted of inciting people to breach public order, insulting the judiciary, defaming the kingdom’s senior religious clerics and establishing an unlicensed organization. Our close ally in the Middle East has once again shown how it stands in direct opposition to the most basic rights of free speech and free exercise. Rather than actually move its laws and government out of the Middle Ages, the Kingdom has hired a variety of top firms, including leading establishment figures like Tony Podesta, to improve its reputation with the American public (particularly with the expected release of the long withheld 9-11 reports pages that reportedly implicate Saudi officials in the attack.
Issa al-Hamid, 47, has been previously arrested for inciting protests. That’s right, not inciting violence but protests including (gasp) protests by women in Saudi Arabia.
All 11 founding members of the organization are now currently either imprisoned or on trial facing imprisonment. Adding tragic irony, he was arrested for advocating the rule of law in Saudi Arabia so they sent him to Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court, which handles terrorism cases and denies defendants the most basic legal protections.
Issa al-Hamid is a reminder of the incredibly brave civil libertarians in Saudi Arabia who have risked everything to try to bring the rule of law to that country. They bravely face the consequences of having faux “judges” sit in judgment of them as dictated either by the government or a medieval Sharia code. I have had the honor of speaking with Saudi academics who support this movement for civil liberties in the past. In time I hope that their fellow citizens will understand exactly how much they sacrificed for their nation.
Issa al-Hamid was sent away to the nightmarish Saudi prison system as President Obama arrived to reaffirm our close alliance with the Saudi kingdom.
15 thoughts on “Saudi Arabia Sentences Civil Libertarian To Nine Years In Prison In Terrorism Court”
That’s no different than in the USA. The justice system, economic system, (no health system), school system, and so forth, are all failures. SCOTUS on down to a police dog….the whole thing is straight broken. Anyone could be carried away to a dark area without due process.The super rich are now in charge of politics, so politics now goes under economics. A lot of fat, tattooed non-people looking to screw their neighbor in more ways than one don’t take care of themselves, so so much for health, never mind the witch doctor care. The schools are mostly babysitting jobs for the failures of schools past, plus future failures. Human rights go to the person who stays away furthest from those gash darn other humans.
“And I am sure that I never read any memorable news in a newspaper. If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western Railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of grasshoppers in the winter, – we need never read of another. One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad instances and applications?”–Henry David Thoreau
This is especially true of news involving Islam.
Would you expect anything less from the “Religion” of Pieces, founded by a mass murdering pedophile? How many times do I have to ‘splain reality to you folks??
Who are the politicians protecting from the truth, the American people? they are supposed to work for us.
Bruce – there is actually a SC case stating that politicians work for whomever they like, including themselves.
If the Saudis sell all their American assets and move back to Arabia, I wonder how the Saudi women will like it losing the freedom they have in the U.S.
I want the 28 pages declassified and given to the public. Let the chips fall where they may. Once we have stopped bowing to King Saud and kissing their butt, they might start shaping up. They are in financial trouble since the price of oil went down. They may have to invade Iraq.
I’ll bet Gov. Johnson and Mr. MacAfee are having a sigh of relief!
DECLASSIFY THE 28 PAGES!
Release the 9/11 reports and let the Saudis sell there American assets, then put them on the no fly list and tell them to defend themselves. Good riddance, we don’t need them racing their sports cars in L.A.. their oil or anything else they have to offer.
“Longterm” U.S. foreign policy should only go to nations that support American values or we should stop being allies altogether.
It actually harms American citizens the most when our leaders appease despots like this (becoming more like them). Saying no to despots helps prevent un-American practices things like torture, communist style blacklisting, false imprisonment, a Patriot Act and preemption policies.
When our leaders get in bed with despots it harms us Americans the most.
And the guy has a tent on his head! One would think he would be protected.
Tony Podesta used to go by the first name Anthony. He has “gone South”. Did he go to Knox College? I know John did. John refused to join a Frat. He said that he was “an Indy”. That meant “independent”. Back in the days. Tony has joined a Frat of terrorists.
The continued relationship of this country with the Saudis is shameful and disgusting. Obama’s continuous acts of seeming fealty are disturbing.
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