Activists, bloggers, and journalists have been subject to oppression of the Saudi regime. Despite adopting the opinions of those it arbitrarily arrested later on; the Saudi regime continues to keep them detained in horrible conditions, putting their lives at serious risk.
Ironically, the arrests campaign not only targeted opponents of the regime, but also the silent ones who did not comply with the policies of the regime or praise it publicly.
For instance, as soon as the Saudi authorities started allowing Saudi women to drive cars, they launched a massive arrest campaign against dozens of female human rights activists and feminists, as well as men who supported them.
This campaign aimed at restricting the growing popularity of the activists, and to deliver a message that the government’s decision to allow women to drive was not in response to the activists’ demands, for this not to be considered as a victory for the activists over the authorities of the Saudi regime.
Among those detained are the famous feminist activist Loujain Al-Hathloul, the prominent academic Aziza Al-Youssef, the academic Iman Al-Nafjan, and former legal advisor to the Council of Ministers and the lawyer of the civil rights movement “HASM” Ibrahim Al-Modaimigh, activist Mohamed Al-Rabiah and activist Abdulaziz Al-Mishaal, who were arrested on charges of communicating with suspicious foreign parties. The Twitter account of Prisoners of Conscience announced Al-Modaimig’s release after “severe deterioration in his health”.
Furthermore, the Saudi authorities arrested another group of feminist activists, including Walaa Al Shubbar, Samar Badawi, and Nassima Al-Sada, as well as the activist against normalization, Noha Al-Balawi, who was released later.
The Saudi authorities arrested the activists arbitrarily, subjected them to enforced disappearance, and denied them from being presented before the trial or prosecution.
According to Reuters, the Saudi regime subjected them to physical and psychological torture, where some of them have been sexually abused and electrocuted at the hands of investigators from the Saudi Federation for Cyber Security and Programming (SAFCSP) headed by the former advisor to the royal court Saoud Al-Qahtani, who disappeared with royal orders after being accused of participating in the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Reuters also confirmed that Al-Qahtani was interrogating one of the detainees and witnessed her torture.
These cases reflect hundreds of violations that are being practiced systematically by the Saudi regime against anyone who does not support its policies.
These grave violations pose a threat to the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, which is already affected by the current regime. It is worth noting that the Saudi authorities spend billions of dollars to please the west in order to secure its stability and to whitewash its black record in human rights.
“Together for Justice” believes that the international community’s acceptance of the financial bribes provided by the Saudi regime to whitewash its record, and overlook its atrocities is a clear evidence of the hypocrisy of the international community and its preference of economic interests over the lives and freedoms of the Saudis and peoples of the region.
Together for Justice calls on the free people of the world, journalists, activists, and the media to stand together against the crimes and practices of the Saudi regime and to urge the Western countries to abide by their international obligations regarding security, military and economic cooperation with a regime which violates the rights of its people and the Yemeni people who are suffering the worst humanitarian crisis in the modern era.