Since Mohamed bin Salman assumed power in Saudi Arabia, his policy was to silence and kill all dissidents in every possible way, whether at home or abroad, and the example is the murder of opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the end of 2018 in his country’s embassy in the city of Istanbul, Turkey.
At that time, Hatice Cengiz, the fiancée of the victim Khashoggi, who had been engaged to him for months before his assassination, was targeted by the Saudi media which crossed all norms and morals of Arab society.
The aim of attacking Gengiz was to establish the idea that any person from the families of the detainees or the victims who might think to defend their families in the media would be destined for the ongoing attacks by the pro-state media outlets. The Saudi oppressive regimes failed to pass on this message to the families of the detainees who had taken up the defense of their families and demanded that the names of their imprisoned sons and daughters be disclosed with the violations they are subjected to, hoping to end injustice and stop these violations.
In an article in the American newspaper “USA TODAY”, Abdul Hakim Al-Dakhil recounted the story of the arrest of his father, Abdulaziz Al-Dakhil, who has been forcibly disappeared in Saudi prisons, saying that “on the night that my father, the economist Abdulaziz Al-Dakhil, was arrested last year, the authorities stormed our house by military force. They confiscated my father’s documents, money and assets and froze his bank accounts. Then he disappeared inside the “State Security” prison.”
Al-Dakhil continued, “My father is an economist and financial expert who has always been a role model for a law-abiding citizen. He held the position of Deputy Minister of Finance in the 1970s, but he resigned in 1979 because he realized the extent of corruption in the country and the deepest problems of governance in it. He praised the imprisoned dissidents, and praised transparency, accountability and democracy. “
“Since 2015, when Salman branch of the family came to power, it has systematically implemented a zero-tolerance policy towards criticism that silenced all public discourse between Saudi writers and intellectuals. Critical thinkers, such as Jamal Khashoggi, have been silenced with threats, imprisonment and murder. The Saudi society has turned into a giant echo chamber to pay tribute to and celebrate the Crown Prince. “
Abdul Hakim Al-Dakhil revealed that his father is currently detained in Al-Ha’ir prison, south of Riyadh, and he was arrested last Ramadan, along with two others, on charges of honoring the reformist Abdullah Al-Hamid, who died recently in prison.
Al-Dakhil’s son announced in a widely circulated video that his father is being held in Al-Ha’ir prison, and that the reason for his arrest is a tweet calling for freedom and justice.
Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Dakhil is one of the most prominent Saudis who obtained a master’s and doctorate degrees in economics from Indiana University Bloomington in the United States of America in 1969 and 1973 and worked as an assistant professor in economics at the same university.
Upon his return to Saudi Arabia, he worked in government jobs until he became the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance and National Economy for financial affairs and accounts. In 1979, Dr. Al-Dakhil resigned from government work and established the Consultative Center for Investment and Finance in Riyadh.
The Prisoners of Conscience recently confirmed the deterioration of the health of three writers and activists months ago, namely: Aql Al-Bahli and Abdulaziz Al-Dakhil, and the lawyer, Sultan Al-Ajami, through its official Twitter account.
The three writers were arrested on charges of honoring the reformist Abdullah Al-Hamid, who died in his cell on April 24, 2013, on the first day of Ramadan, due to what Saudi human rights organizations described as “deliberate medical negligence,” which prompted the three writers to publish a memorial on social media platforms, grieving Al-Hamid, who is described as “the leader of Saudi jurists and reformers,”. The three writers offered their condolences to the family of Al-Hamid, and talked about his qualities, while one of them indicated that he had spoken with the late activist by phone, days before his death.
The charges against the three writers of Al-Hamid’s eulogy raises surprise, but the real surprising fact is that dozens of activists, dissidents, critics of the government, intellectuals and human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia are being arbitrarily arrested and prosecuted simply for expressing their views on social media.
The Saudi authorities are currently trying to improve their image through the media and by establishing political and diplomatic relations with other countries in an attempt to appease the new American president who threatened to make Saudi Arabia a pariah.
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