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March 10 2013

Saudi-Arabia: ANHRI Demands the Immediate Release of “Al-Hamid and Qahtani”

Cairo March 10, 2013

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), denounces the sentence issued by the Saudi penal court, which sentenced two of the rights’ activist and the close of “The Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association” (ACPRA).

The Penal Court of Riyadah, in the hearing hold on Saturday March 9, 2013, issued its sentence on two of the rights’ activists and members of ACPRA, as the court sentenced “Dr. Mohamed ben Fahad Qahtaini” for 10 years imprisonment and sentenced “Abu-Belal Abdullah El-Hamid” for 5 years imprisonment in addition to enforce the pervious sentence issued against him for 6 years, so the total of the period to be in the prison is 11 years. In addition, to ban them from travelling for equal period to their imprisonment after end the imprisonment duration on the background of long list of broadened charges. The court decided to dissolve ACPRA and confiscate all of its money in addition to stop all of its activities as it didn’t obtain the license. This sentence can be appealed during a period doesn’t exceed 30 days as of Tuesday March 12, 2013.

They have appeared before the penal court for (10) hearings, which was marred by several legal violations; comes at the top of these violations were to held the hearing in camera, which violated the principle of public hearing, in addition to mandate investigators from the criminal investigation to investigate them instead of investigation judges. They have faced several charges, such as “planting the seeds of the sedition”, “disobeying the rulers” and charging the judges by “allowing the torture” in addition to scorning the members of Council of Senior Scholars. “Hamid” was charged of destabilize the security, spread the chaos, violation to public safety, fragmentation of national unity, the destruction of the capabilities of the nation and its gains, planting the seeds of discord and dissent and publishing information on the Internet related to the interrogation procedures after his pledge not to publish for the purposes of excitement and confusion in order to influence public opinion and fair trial process.

ANHRI said that “the charges pressed on them from the Penal Court which is a court specialized in terrorism, is a serious violation to the freedom of expression against the members of ACPRA and eliminate every hope or expectations regarding to a breakthrough in the way of the Saudi-regime dealing with the freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration which mounted to the highest degrees of repression and dictatorship in the light of the disregarding of several international and regional parties to the violations committed by the regime against the intellectuals in Saudi-Arbia”.

ANHRI wonders how could two of the significant rights’ activists in Saudi-Arabia could appear before a court specialized in reviewing the terrorism cases and they didn’t commit any crime but to express their opinions peacefully.

ANHRI demands the immediate release of both of them and drop all the charges pressed on them in addition to guarantee their safety and to stop prosecuting them.
List of charges pressed on Qahtani
List of charges pressed on Hamid
For more information
www.anhri.net/?p=67717
www.anhri.net/?p=58287
www.anhri.net/?p=55783

Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

A day in the life of King Abdullah

A day in the life of King Abdullah

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130223154239

Un entretien avec le fils du roi d'Arabie saoudite, sur la Syrie mais aussi sur les situation sociale dans le royaume

Welfare is increasingly the king's concern, said Prince Miteb. Between two million and four million citizens live below the poverty line, and Saudi Arabia also has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the region, with an estimated two million of 28 million Saudis without work .
“[King Abdullah] gets upset when he repeatedly hears about unemployment, shortage of housing or delay in providing medical treatment to citizens,” he said.
Since 2011, the King has widely expanded welfare spending, including a pledge to invest US$37 billion (Dh136bn) on new housing projects, wage increases and unemployment benefits.

Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

March 09 2013

Saudi Court Sentences Reformists to 10 and 11 Years in Prison

This post is part of our Special Coverage: Reformists on Trial in Saudi Arabia
Earlier today, March 9th, the Riyadh Criminal Court issued its verdict against the two prominent reformists and human rights activists Mohammad al-Qahtani and Abdullah al-Hamid, after being prosecuted for “breaking allegiance to the ruler and his successor” and “trying to impede the country’s developments”. al-Qahtani was sentenced to 10 years in prison and al-Hamid was sentenced to 5 years in prison in addition to completing his previous sentence (7 years, released after a year with a royal pardon). The judge stated that their presence outside prison was “dangerous” and ordered their immediate arrest. In addition, the judge ordered dissolving the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Associations (ACPRA), and confiscating all of its propriety immediately. The defendants have a right to appeal the decision within 30 days.

al-Qahtani and al-Hamid's trial started in June 2012, separately and secretly. After the first hearing, the judge merged both cases but he insisted that it shall remain behind closed doors. The two activists refused, saying that it was a political trial, and publicity was their only grantee for justice. By the fifth hearing, the judge finally capitulated, turning it effectively into a public trial.

al-Qahtani (right) and al-hamid (third on right) right before the session. via @drrayq

al-Qahtani (right) and al-Hamid (third on right) right before the session. via @DrRAYQ

Last night, al-Hamid tweeted [ar]:

إلى الإخوة المتشائمين والمشفقين من #محاكمة_حسم لئن سجنا فهو والله نصر كبير جدا للمشروع ومن السجن تشعل الشموع

@Abubelal_1951: To my brothers who are pessimist and pitiful about the ACPRA trial: if we get imprisoned, it's a huge victory for the project and from prisons candles are lit.

Today's session was attended by over 130 supporters, in addition to correspondents from Al Jazeera, Sky News and some national newspapers. The courtroom was filled with over 30 special force members. Outside, al-Hamid came early to collect attendees’ signatures demanding the dismissal of the Interior Minster Mohammad bin Nayef, and the repeal of all secret trial sentences.

Activist Waleed Abualkhair tweeted:

سحب الأقلام بالإضافة الى الجوالات وعدد الحضور وصل الى ١٠٥ حتى الآن بحسب الكشف وهناك ٣٠ لم يسجلوا

@abualkhair: They took our pens and mobile phones. According to the list, the attendees are now 105, there are 30 who haven't registered yet.

Some activists did not manage to enter. Hood al-Aqeel tweeted:

الان في داخل المحكمه وقد منعت من الدخول للقاعه بحجه عدم وجود أماكن فاضيه !!!

@h_141: I am in the court. They did not allow me in saying that there are no free spaces!

In the verdict, the judge said that al-Qaida and ACPRA are the two sides of the same coin. Moreover, he stated that coercive rule is legitimate. Mohammad al-Abdualkreem reported:

توصل القاضي إلى بطلان نظرية العقد الاجتماعي ومنافاتها لعقيدة المسلم، وجواز التغلب والتوريث والتعيين واعتبارها من أصول السلف

@alabdulkarim0: The judge concluded that the social contract theory is invalid and contradicts with the Muslim faith, and that coercive ruling, hereditary monarchy and appointment are fundamental to Islamic practice.

Back in May 2011, al-Qahtani participated in a Women2Drive campaign, demanding lifting the ban on women driving. Apparently, this led the judge to mention something about it in the verdict. Twitter user Jihad Abdullah tweeted:

القاضي قبل قليل يتهم القحطاني بأنه يركب سيارته وزوجته تقود السيارة ومعهم اجانب يتجولون داخل الرياض، طيب هو حر وزوجته وش دخلك ! #محاكمة_حسم

@CheJihad: The judge just accused al-Qahtani of riding his car with foreigners while his wife is driving. Well, he and his wife are free, you have nothing to do with it!

Twitter users noticed that the trial hashtag was filled by automatically-generated, repeated messages that attack the two activists and accuses them of treason. Mishari AlGhamdi tweeted:

نفس العبارة تكتبها عشرات المعرفات الوهمية .. شغل رديء .. حتى شغل التطبيل و التدليس خربه الفساد

@mishari11: The same statement is being written by tens of fake accounts. Poor job. Even kissing up and fraudulence were doomed by corruption.

This post is part of our Special Coverage: Reformists on Trial in Saudi Arabia

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