Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Save The Four Princesses



Four young Princesses are being kept under house arrest in the palace outbuildings at Jeddah for 13 years. They are daughters of The Saudi King Abdulla. They've been held captive by their father and their half-brothers Minister of the Saudi National Guard Mitab and Deputy Foreign Minister AbdulAziz. Princess Sahar, the eldest of the sisters, is 42 years old. Their mother complains: They have been robbed of their right to study, to work, to start a family, to travel and visit me. They have been deliberately denied medical attention; and the opportunity-- provided to all the King's sons and daughters-- to seek medical help anywhere in the world in any medical center they choose. They have been abused and tortured, and placed under 24/7 surveillance.”  

 They had spoken to their father King Abdullah about the prevalent poverty, injustice and disrespect for human rights including those shown to women in the Saudi Kingdom. Their mother Alanoud Alfayez (57) was divorced in 1980. She is a Jordanian national. She fled from Arabia in 2001 and now lives in London. It is believed that the monarch (89 year old now) was angry at her for not giving him a male offspring. 

 Sahar and Jawaher  (38)  living together are separated from their two other sisters Maha and Hala . Until March 2014, they were permitted to go out once every two months under guard for shopping. But since mid-March 2014, as a consequence of their having complained to the foreign press of their situation, they are denied permission to go out at all. It is forbidden to bring them food or drink. Their supplies diminish; they are reduced to eating expired products and are on one meal a day. To drink, they distill sea water but that too is not enough for both of them, their two dogs and cat. Their health is deteriorating, but they have no access to medical assistance or any medication. If the situation continues, their fate is slow death.

Sahar said in an interview: “We were prevented from going out to buy food and water on March 17th, our heavily guarded bimonthly outing. They prohibited home delivery as well; the person trying to deliver food and water was threatened to be jailed should he attempt to return. Food will soon run out. We are on one meal a day, surviving on some expired food and distilled seawater.
My sister Jawaher suffers from asthma and is denied her medication. I cannot watch her health deteriorating. She needs medical help, in fact we all do. We suffer excruciating headaches and backaches. We have been calling on the Red Cross and they are trying to communicate with the Red Crescent, but seems that they are under Saudi control, so we haven’t received a reply yet. We have the right to choose where to seek medical help. We will never seek the help of the Royal Clinic since they have played a big role in our abuse, nor will we ever ask our captors for food and water since they have been drugging it. We also need to save our pets, our two dogs Gala and Gracia as well as Jade the cat. The situation is getting worse, while Saudis continue their crimes with impunity.
 Their mother's words again:


"Years have gone by, and my four daughters, Sahar, Maha, Hala, & Jawaher are still held against their will, confined in heavily guarded villas, suffering psychological and physical abuse with no hope for salvation. They've been held captive in Saudi Arabia for more than 12 years by their father King Abdullah and their half-brothers Minister of the Saudi National Guard Mitab and Deputy Foreign Minister AbdulAziz, while all their half-sisters and half- brothers enjoy their rights and unfettered freedom. The anguish of a mother having to hear her own children suffering in agony day after day, without being able to be with them nor ease their suffering is far too great to bear. What crimes have my daughters committed to deserve torture and abuse? Does anyone deserve to live under such horrid circumstances? They have been robbed of their right to study, to work, to start a family, to travel and visit me. They have been deliberately denied medical attention; and the opportunity-- provided to all the King's sons and daughters-- to seek medical help anywhere in the world in any medical center they choose. They have been abused and tortured, and placed under 24/7 surveillance. Why are their half-sisters and female cousins allowed the freedom to lead their lives as they please without constraint, while many have chosen to reside in the West, without facing so much as an outcry from the family? Why are my daughters being discriminated against? Is it because they have no full brother to fend for them in a patriarchal society that is often described as misogynist. My daughters seek their dignity, freedom and human rights, and that of all women in their country.


My daughters deserve to be free to pursue their life. They deserve to continue their studies, earn a degree and continue higher education, and apply to the jobs that fulfill their dreams. They deserve to start a family, marry and have children. They deserve to be free to travel and visit me, their mother, whenever they wish. It is unacceptable to allow Saudi Arabia to continue abusing human rights, violating all conventions it had signed with the UN without being held to account. It is no longer acceptable for the free world, which claims to advocate human rights, to continue supporting countries that violate these. Saudi Arabia has one of the worst records in violating women's rights in particular. Many women endure the abuse of male guardians, while countless women and children suffer silently, very few have had the chance to speak out about their traumatic experience let alone escape from it. The situation is spiraling out of control and it is no longer tolerable for the world, especially the United Nations not to intervene and put a stop to these barbaric practices, which are unlawful, and un-Islamic. Despite Saudi Arabia's claims it is not within Sharia to condone the abuse of women under any pretext. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has ratified CEDAW and other conventions against torture and should be held to account when it does not abide."  



We would like to remind the freedom loving  world that Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a part of the Human Rights body of UN. It sits on the United Nations Human Rights Council ! The appeals of  Alanoud Alfayez have fallen on deaf ears. !!


We beg to all functionaries and heads of nations as well as UN officials and ambassadors to urgently take note of the pathetic situation and urge all human rights activists to do everything possible to force the king of Saudi Arabia to release his daughters! We would like to remind all lovers of Democracy that they have a duty to oblige the Government of Saudi Arabia to comply with international conventions it has ratified! 


                                                

                        Please sign the petition



                                     Join #FreeThe4 Campaign



Saturday, August 2, 2014

Uganda's Constitutional Court strikes down anti-gay law




 Uganda's Constitutional Court has struck down its recent anti-gay law! The 
"Anti-Homosexuality Act" said that people could go to jail for life for who they 
love. It also made it illegal for anyone to help lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in their 
fight for basic rights. Today, that law has been declared "null and void"!

This is a HUGE victory – even when faced with an enormous surge of 
violence and arrests, brave and dedicated Ugandans have kept up the fight 
against this horrific law. But the battle isn’t over yet. There's still an anti-gay 
law on the books and opponents threatening a violent backlash.


Now is the moment to show our support to the Ugandan LGBT community 
and recommit to the fight ahead. Please sign the supporting statement. It will 
add to their resolve to move forward.

Please read this report also.


Monday, June 16, 2014

The Class We Address and Our Plan of Action





Propaganda must precede the political offensive. And 

our propaganda will be addressed mainly to the educated men 

and women who are destined to lead the revolution in India in 

the given situation. Both in Germany and Italy, the Communist 

Parties failed to realize that, and therefore, they could not stop 

the rise of Fascism. Belief in a one class party persuaded them 

to neglect the middle class, which even in capitalist 

countries plays a decisive role. So it provided the storm- 

troopers of Fascism, and when Fascism in power threw some 

crumbs to the proletariat, they also followed Fascism.

We must appeal to that class of people which is capable of 

appreciating some human values, which can be moved by ideals 

greater than bread and butter, whose politics is not entirely 

determined by the selfishness of one particular class which is 

hungry. We must get over the idea that we are the chosen 

people of God. If we can appreciate high ideas, there are others 

who can also do so. We shall place before them not the ideal of 

proletarian dictatorship and classless society, but the ideal of 

human freedom. We shall tell them that, if you allow yourselves 

to be hypnotised by ‘Ramdhun’ you will have to send your wife 

to the kitchen and not allow your daughters to go to college. I 

have no doubt that there are many who will appreciate your 

ideas. And with them we shall create a general staff of 

revolution. That is our plan of action.




M.N.Roy

Friday, April 25, 2014

Humanist Politics - II



4. Elections and Rationalists



1. (a) “Only when the monster called the masses is decomposed into its component men and women, will an atmosphere be created in which democratic practice becomes possible, in which there can be established governments of the people and by the people. In such an atmosphere, it will become possible to practice direct Democracy in smaller social groups, because to make individuals self-reliant, they must be freed from the feeling of being helpless cogs in the wheels of the gigantic machines of modern states, which allow them no other function than to cast a vote once in several years, and give them no idea of how governments function, so that they cannot even effectively help their government, if they wanted to.” (1)

1. (b) “If you deal with men, ultimately you can appeal to their reason and deal with their conscience. But in the mass, men’s reason and conscience are also submerged and suspended. Masses respond more easily to emotional appeals, because men merge into masses on their lowest common denominator. The level of the politicians then adjusts itself to this mentality. Elections do not ensure democracy but put a premium on demagogy.”(2)

2. (a) “To ensure that elections reflect an intelligent public opinion, there has to be an intelligent public opinion first. Then only elections can become an instrument of democracy not sprung on unprepared electorates in a concerted effort to sweep them off their feet. Such an alternative approach to election begins with people in their localities meeting in local or regional conferences for serious discussions, not for public harangues, but for educative and enlightening propagation of these ideas. Through such informal regular meetings an intelligent public opinion is created. Having come to understand political questions and economic problems for themselves, the people will see that they need not vote for this or that party, leaving all judgment to them and relying on their promises, but that they can judge independently and elect candidates of their own choice from among themselves. These will be independent candidates; that is to say, they will not depend for their election on any political party, and therefore they can depend on their own conscience and be responsible to the people directly. That will do away with the evils of party politics and the scramble for power and its demagogy and corruption.” (3)

2. (b) “But once the precondition is created, that every citizen and voter will have a minimum degree of intelligent understanding and the ability to think and judge for himself, then this helplessness and hopelessness of the individuals will disappear; they can create local democracies of their own. The voters need no longer remain scattered like isolated atoms. They can organize themselves on a local scale into People’s Committees, and function as local republics, in which direct democracy is possible. Then at the time of elections, these people will no longer have to vote for anybody coming from outside; they will not only discuss in their committees the merits of candidates  presented to them for taking or leaving, but nominate their own candidates from among themselves. To create this condition is the most important political activity.” (4)

3. (a) “For this work, we need not wait for an election. We select one constituency. 20 or 25 people there will come to feel the necessity of devising new forms of political practice, because they are dissatisfied with the present state of affairs. They resolve to make an experiment. They begin by creating the precondition for Democracy by spreading education among the people. At a later stage, it should be possible to call a number of local conferences in a constituency and elect delegates from them to a conference of the entire constituency. And at the election time, when all parties come and offer their candidates, the people’s committee may decide to vote for none of those party candidates, but elect one from among themselves as their candidate, and the people will vote for him. The person who will be thus elected and go to the Parliament, will not be responsible to any existing political party machinery. He will be and remain responsible to his local Democracy, of which he himself is a part; he will be directly responsible to the people who sent him to the Parliament; he will not have to act on the behests  and discipline of any extraneous authority, and he will have to report to and inform his fellow- citizens in his constituency about all his actions and the problems of the wider community, and take his mandate from them alone in all matters and act accordingly to his best ability and conscience.” (5)

3. (b) “This process may take a long time. That is the common objection against it. But once we make the choice and begin moving in the new direction, it is not really such a long way as it appears to be. The precondition is to discard the traditional notion of human nature, and to know that it is neither evil nor divine, but that man is essentially rational; that, given the opportunity, every human being is capable of thinking for himself, judging right and wrong, making judgments and acting accordingly. Unless by his own nature, as a biological being, man was capable of thinking rationally and behaving morally, it would be a vain dream to visualize a free, just and harmonious social order. For the time being, it is true that the common people are illiterate; they may not be able to govern country. But at the same time, is it not a fact, that left to themselves, even the most ignorant peasants can manage their affairs better than our present government? The distrust for the ability of the common people to think for themselves and take care of themselves is only a pretext for seizing power in their name and abusing that power to suppress their liberty.” (6)

4. (a) “In the next elections we may not yet get rid of the bad effects of party politics. But we may already help in the appearance of a considerable number of independent candidates who in the assemblies will not be subjected to the whip of the parties, whether in power or in opposition, but who can raise the voice of the people inside the parliaments.”(7)

4. (b) “ Thus, while the big parties may fight for power among themselves, there will be a few people to express the will of the people without reservations and extraneous contingent considerations of fear or favor. Their voice, in its turn, will quicken the consciousness of the people outside who follow the proceedings in the assemblies. And what is more, after the elections, independent candidates, who depend directly on the people of their locality for their election, cannot forget their constituencies but must keep constantly in touch with them for their mandate and support. Also those Humanists who have stimulated this political awakening in the constituency will not leave the voters to relapse in to apathy after elections, but constantly remind them of their rights and responsibilities. They worked in their constituency not to be elected and then go away to the centres of power, but they remain there with the sole function of educating the people and helping them establish a democratic local republic. In these local republics, it is possible to have direct democracy, and their functions can be expanded as the citizens grow increasingly discriminating and conscious. In them, power and sovereignty will remain in the hands of the people themselves, and in this way the precondition for a government of the people and by the people will be created. Because ultimately the nature of the basic units will determine the structure of the whole State built upon them. A democratic State in a large country is possible only on the basis of such small organized local democracies which can remove the sense of helplessness of the individual citizens, and through which alone individual voters can exercise control over the State by means of an intelligent active public opinion. To promote this is the most effective practice of New Humanism in the political field.” (8)

5. (a) “Even if elections are by universal suffrage, and the executive is also elected, democracy will still remain a formality. Delegation of power, even for a limited period, stultifies democracy. Government for the people can never be fully a Government of the people and by the people, and the people can have a hand in the Government of the country only when the pyramidal structure of the State will be raised on a foundation of organized local democracy. The primary function of the latter will be to make individual citizens fully conscious of their sovereign right and enable them to exercise the right intelligently. The broad basis of the democratic state, coinciding with the entire society, will be composed of a network of political schools, so to say. The right of recall and referendum will enable organized local democracy to wield a direct and effective control of the entire state machinery. They alone will have the right to nominate candidates for election. Democracy will be placed above parties representing collective egos. Individual men will have the chance of being recognized. Party loyalty and party patronage or other forms of nepotism will no longer eclipse intellectual independence, moral integrity and detached wisdom.” (9)

5. (b) “Such an atmosphere will foster intellectual independence dedicated to the cause of making human values triumph. That moral excellence alone can hold a community together without sacrificing the individual on the altar of the collective ego, be it the nation or the class. People possessed of that great virtue will command the respect of an intelligent public, and be recognized as the leaders of society automatically, so to say. Demagogy will be placed under a heavy discount. Mechanical counting of heads will cease to be the criterion of democracy. Democratic practice will not be reduced to periodical elections.” (10)

5. (c) “It will be some time before reoriented democracy can be the master of the situation. In the transition period, the Constitution should provide for creative genius, intellectual detachment and moral integrity occupying a high place in the state, so as to advise, guide and influence the operation of executive power. In the transition period, democracy must be elective as well as selective. Until the intellectual and moral level of the entire community is raised considerably, election alone cannot possibly bring its best elements to the forefront, and unless the available intellectual detachment and moral integrity are brought to bear on the situation, democratic regimes cannot serve the purpose of promoting freedom.” (11)

6. (a) “At election times, all parties go to the people and make promises; they all know that not half of their promises can be fulfilled; but they rely on the fact that the voters cannot understand, and therefore, can be duped.  Can that state of affairs not be changed? It can be. To change this state of affairs is the first necessity, the biggest task for anybody who wishes to participate in politics – not for selfish ends. One need not go to the people only to catch their votes. To help them cast their votes intelligently would be an immensely more important work. The electorate should be asked to examine the programmes of all the parties, to see if the promises can be fulfilled or, if fulfilled will really improve matters. But this new political practice presupposes a radical change in the idea of human nature. It is an appeal to reason, which presupposes the belief that man is a rational being. Political practice is guided by the notion that the ordinary man cannot think for himself; therefore he must be persuaded to follow parties and politicians. Since this unnatural relation between the people, the parties and politicians constitutes the foundation of what is called party politics, the latter prevents the people even to think for themselves. Politics is not only a scramble for power, but competition in all manner of questionable practices. (12)

6. (b) “The position may appear to be a vicious circle. But there is a way out, which party politicians would not take, because that would mean the end of their days. Appeal to reason is the way out. And modern science indicates the way. Science teaches that human nature is not to believe, but to enquire, that human nature is rational. It is true that the rational nature of man has been buried very deep.  But being the essence of human nature, it can be recovered. Let some people have the conviction and the courage to act accordingly. Let them raise political practice on the level of reason and intelligence. I have no doubt the appeal to reason will find a response. The new politics will bear fruit sooner than one dares imagine; only, the measure of success will not be power, but gradual disappearance of that evil. Even a few people can lay down a solid foundation of democracy and freedom, if they forgo the quest for power, do not participate in the scramble; do not ask for the vote of the people to rule in their name; but, on the contrary, remind the voters of their human dignity, capacity to think and to act creatively.” (13)

6. (c) “Thus the electorate will gradually become critical and discriminating; the time will come when the voters of a locality will tell the candidates of all parties to leave them alone; amongst themselves they will find men in whom they can have confidence and who will remain responsible to them between two elections. Once that happens, the end of the party system will begin, and with the parties, the main cause for concentration of power will disappear. In the process, we shall already have laid down the foundation of a decentralized State of local republics, which will combine all functions of the State as they affect the local life. National culture, national economy and national political institutions will be cast on the pattern of the functions of these local republics; power will remain with them, to be wielded directly by the individual members of small communities. Being thus reared upon a broad foundation of direct democracies, the State will be really democratic. Usurpation of power will be out of the question. Thus, a pluralistic modern society can be built up at the same time while doing away with centralization of power, political and economic.” (14)



Ref:


(1)  P 59 : Politics Power and Parties, M.N. Roy1981, Ajanta Publications(India),Jawahar Nagar, Delhi - 110007.
(2)  P 175 : ibid.
(3) P 175: ibid.
(4) Pp 59, 60:  ibid.
(5) P 60:  ibid.
(6) P 185, ibid.
(7) Pp 175,176: ibid.
(8) P 176, ibid.
(9) P 167, New Orientation, M.N. Roy; 1982, Ajanta Publications(India), Jawahar Nagar, Delhi - 110007.
(10)  ibid.
(11) Pp 167, 168: ibid.
(12) Pp 185, Politics Power and Parties, M.N. Roy1981, Ajanta Publications(India), Jawahar Nagar, Delhi - 110007.
(13) P 186,  ibid.
(14) P 187, ibid.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Help Campaigns to End FGM


We are glad to see that there is better awareness about the continuation of Female genital Mutilation. Good human beings have taken up the issue and vigorous campaigns are going on. Those who have not been aware of this issue are requested to read the background information provided in an earlier post. This is to invite your attention to some of the campaigns so that you can involve yourself in eradicating this evil. Read about the initiative taken by Daughters of Eve. Their successful e-petition to the Govt. of U.K. is still live.

Watch the video to see how seventeen year old Fahma Mohamed successfully carries on the effort. We request you to sign her e-petition, share it with your friends and spread the word.

Fahma Mohamed's Petition:


Tell schools to teach risks of female genital mutilation before the summer


Thank You.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Protect LGBT Rights , Ensure Fundamental Rights

In India, something embarrassing has happened. The civilized and sophisticated are confused. They ask themselves: Are we heading to an Indian form of Talibanisation with Hinduism as the cultural prerogative? The LGBTQ activists who were waiting at the Supreme court lawn in New Delhi for a verdict confirming their liberation, were utterly disappointed. See the report by hindustan times

Heated debates ensued in the media. What is the relevance of section 377 in 21st century India? Religious leaders- Imaams, Swamies and some Fathers - were highly eloquent when they praised the Judges of the Supreme Court for having protected the great moral tradition of India. Let us see what this great criminal code is:

LGBT Section 377  

By upholding the constitutional validity of the section in the criminal code, the homosexuals are termed criminals at a stroke. See  the dna report:

Supreme Court overturns Delhi High Court ruling, makes gay sex punishable

To read the full text of  what SC said: The Judgment 

NDTV said: " The Supreme Court on Wednesday brought back a colonial-era ban on gay sex, dealing a severe blow to the largely-closeted homosexual community in India and their long battle for legitimacy. "

Business Line(The Hindu) reports that the mood was  one of solidarity and protest on hearing the verdict.

Humanists and other Human Rights Activists have taken up the issue. Jhatkaa.org has started a campaign :

Love is Not a Crime! Protect Our Right to Equality - #Repeal377

  You are requested to sign their petition to Government of India.You are invited to sign and share another petition to the supreme court campaigning for decriminalization of homosexuality: 

Decriminalize homosexuality in India


Another way you can join the campaign to help the LGBT people in their plight is by just making a mobile phone call:

 

Times Campaign 

 

The article in the commentary column by Kunal Majumdar in Tehelka examines the hypocrisy of religious minorities in the issue going beyond Section 377.

 If you prefer AVAAZ.ORG for your campaign, do not hesitate to use that popular platform for petitions. You can access the link below  and sign the petition 'to make love legal' :

To the Indian Supreme Court and Parliament


All individuals, groups and organizations are requested to spread the word . Thank You!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Amnesty Request on behalf of Jabeur Mejri, Tunisian blogger jailed for Facebook posts



We are wrong if we believe that Tunisia has changed. The case of  Jabeur Mejri, aged 29 should be viewed as a clear warning that it is high time for the global human rights community to shout for the release of prisoners of conscience as also for the freedom of expression of all Tunisians. He had posted a cartoon of the Prophet Mohamed on his Facebook profile in March 2012. He has been fined and jailed. Watch the following video :

Tunisian blogger jailed for Facebook posts


The following informs us about the background:

Help Get Jabeur Home

 
The link below takes you to the petition to Moncef Marzouki - President of Tunisia prepared by Amnesty International UK :


The Petition 


You are requested to sign the petition and spread the word.


Follow Up:

Jabeur Mejri freed, but conviction remains to be quashed.

The Amnesty Report.





Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Campaign For Free Press In Syria





What is going on in Syria?
There are supporting forces and countries on both sides – the government as well as the opposition. In reality, certain forces on both sides do not want the world to know the gruesome situation. Innocent women and children are the victims. The repression and harassing of Journalists by the Jihadist militias (under ISIS) are terribly on the increase. We condemn this attack on freedom to know as well as to express. We call on all lovers of freedom and human rights to join the campaign launched by advocacy groups. We demand to stop threats and attacks against the media workers in Syria. You are requested to read the petition statement reproduced below and access the site for the petition, sign it and share the link:
Free Press for Syria
In its last report, Reporters Without Borders considers Syria “the world’s most dangerous country for journalists.” Priority targets of the regime and its security forces since 2011, Syrian journalists are now facing an increasing deadly threat since 2013 : the Jihadists militias.

Facing retaliation if they denounce the abuses aloud, and facing extinction if they don't, Syrian media have chosen the former. Despite intimidation and threats, Syrian media are uniting for the first time and standing up together to demand an end to the crimes committed against all journalists. This is unprecedented and holds potential for real change. This coalition for press freedom and against intolerance has the potential to be the core of a vast popular movement.

However, Syrian media are taking a very serious risk by doing so, and their action will only have an impact if they receive enough national and international support to make a difference.
Please sign the petition to support the Syrian media who refuse the alternative between a criminal regime and intolerant extreme Islamists, and who show the possibility of a third way, equidistant from the Syrian regime and the Jihadist militias.


                                                               The Petition Site

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Amnesty International urges the Afghanistan authorities : Reject Taliban-era punishments



Afghanistan: Reject stoning, flogging, amputation and other Taliban-era punishments

 

The Amnesty International Official News


All individuals, groups and organizations interested in Human Rights are requested to do every thing possible to build up awareness in the global community to resist this return to the dark eras.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Quash the sentence, Drop the charges; Reform or Perish…


Updated on 26, August 2014

In Arabia, a lawyer who is a defender of human rights activism has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. After the term, he will be under a ban for an additional 15 years from travelling outside the kingdom. He has also been slapped with a 200,000 riyal ($53,300) fine. His website is deemed illegal as also his association unauthorized.


By upholding human rights of citizens, the Saudi court considers that this defender of human rights has broken allegiance to King Abdulla, was not respecting authorities and hence was encouraging rebellion against the government. Samar Badawi, the lawyer's wife has reiterated his stand that the court itself is illegitimate, he refuses to accept the verdict of such a court and there is no question of an appeal. Punishing a lawyer for defending human rights of citizens has invited contempt of all human rights activists. The civilized world is astonished at the deplorable high-handedness of this wealthy nation. All freedom loving individuals are requested to protest against this heinous crime against dignity, justice and fair play.


 You are requested to sign a petition asking to free him unconditionally.

               

                               The Petition





Equally heinous and abhorrent is the punishment meted out to Fadhil Makki al-Manasif (27). He was arrested in Awammiyah on April 15, 2009 and detained at General Prison, Dammam without assigning charges for three months. He had to sign a pledge not to take part in gatherings for getting released. In May 2011, he was again arrested and taken in to custody by the security forces. On June 4, 2011, he was transferred to solitary confinement. On June 6, he was charged with crimes relating to his 2009 arrest. Prosecutors were of the opinion that he was sowing discord, inciting public opinion against the state, damaging public property by organizing and calling fr protests, giving information to international media about demonstrations, gathering information about demonstrations etc. Again he had to sign a declaration to the effect that he would refrain from participating in demonstrations.

Fadhil is a photographer and an activist of Adala Centre (for Human Rights) and as such had documented abuses against demonstrators in the Eastern Province. As an activist, he conducted educational workshops on human rights in Qatif. He enthusiastically took the responsibility of approaching the authorities on behalf of the families of the missing detainees. This is normally involved in the work of a human rights activist.

On October 2, 2011 he was again arrested and transferred to the Mabahith prison in Dammam. He was placed in solitary confinement. He was tortured while in detention.

On April 17, 2014 he was sentenced to 15 years in prison and a fine of 100,000 Saudi Riyals. There will also be a travel ban for 15 years after the prison term. The charges against him are actually a consequence of his being a human rights activist. The Specialized Criminal Court considers that he has broken allegiance with the king and has been in contact with foreign news agencies with a view to exaggerate news and bringing bad name to the Kingdom and its people.

The attitude of the kingdom to human rights activists and the punishment meted out to Fadhil and the fact that he had to undergo torture in detention all show the disgusting state of affairs regarding the judicial system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


You are requested to sign a petition to free Fadhil Makki al-Manasif.


                                   

                       The Petition



Original post :



“……………………yet another sign of the arbitrary nature of Saudi Arabia’s justice system”: Hassiba hadj Sahraoui


Waleed Abu al Khair is a lawyer. He supports the reform initiatives getting stronger day by day in Saudi Arabia. He is known as a Human Rights Lawyer. He was accused of unlawful gathering and released on bail previously. In 2011 he had signed petitions demanding political reform. In the absolute monarchy of Arabia which is an anachronism in the 21st century, such initiatives are considered crimes. The Salafi clergy believes that they are maintaining Shariah laws. Even though the highest authority in the kingdom is not characterized as Caliph (Khaleefa) , the nexus between the clergy and the king’s family provides the administrative-cum-legal background for all sorts of human rights abuses. Even the western educated governors express astonishment at the way the entire modern world criticizes them: “ we are following our religion, why don’t they understand that”  is their basic attitude. Some Islamists and many modernist apologists remind us that theirs is not the real Islam. As if a seventh century ideology the greatness of which can be in the dreams and desires of  Muslims only could be the political philosophy of our day! In short, Waleed Abu al Khair is committing crimes legally and spiritually. The youth and students taught in the Saudi curriculum are quite innocent of the ideological implications of modernism. The latest fatwa (as of November 1st,2013)  by a Sheik from the kingdom  warns the citizens against travelling to Mars even though 477 have applied for the ‘The Mars One’ mission  already!

 The advocates for reform are actually confronted by a tremendous task before them.

Quoting his wife Samar Badawi, Amnesty International says that in June 2012,  he was accused of disrespecting the judicial system , contacting foreign organizations and supporting the human rights of detainees alleged to have terror links. He had also been banned from travelling to the United States. To crown all his crimes, he has created a Facebook group, ‘Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi’!

The Jeddah criminal court has sentenced to imprison him for three months for the crime of signing the petition criticizing authorities two years ago. The criticism was against the harsh punishments in the case of 16 activists arrested in 2011. Alalam reports that ‘he would remain out of jail pending an appeal of the present sentence’. He has to his credit another trial relating to his activism.

Hassiba hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Programme Deputy Director at Amnesty International, has denounced the verdict: “This trial is a yet another example of how the authorities abuse the justice system to silence peaceful dissent in Saudi Arabia”.

Amnesty International quotes his courageous and determined stand: “Currently in Saudi Arabia we are going through a critical phase for human rights defenders. Because the calls for reform have increased, an intensive campaign was launched to silence human rights defenders and to control public opinion.”
"I have no choice but to withstand the force of this storm out of respect for all the activists who preceded me and the principles we believe in. My only choice is to remain steadfast and to endure it.”



Ref:




         11-1-2013,   AINA  

                                                                                                                                                                                Post Script            
   
    1. Court to review Badawi case

    2.  Amnesty again asks to release detained activists                                                                                                    







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