Stories about Saudi Arabia from February, 2013
A group of women and children who are relatives of uncharged prisoners managed to organize a small sit-in in Saudi Arabian city of Buraida, challenging the strict ban on demonstrations in the absolute monarchy. This week's sit-in had an unprecedented, explicit demand: the fall of the Interior Minister.
How many Saudi students study in the US? Check out Riyadh Bureau for an answer.
When a Day of Rage was called for in Saudi Arabia back on March 11, 2011, only a handful of protesters challenged the heavy police presence and protested. Khaled al-Johani was the only one of them on tape. He was arrested on the same day and was held until 25 July, 2012. Many thought that he received a pardon. However, last Monday, the Riyadh Criminal Court held a session to issue the verdict in his case.
Earlier today, February 20th, the first hearing session for Saudi Political and Civil Rights Association (ACPRA) co-founder Dr Abdulkareem al-Khadr was held at Criminal Court in Buraidah. Among his "crimes" are "calling for and inciting to break the law, spread chaos and disturb public tranquility and safety by writing and publishing a statement that calls for protesting in public squares."
Reham al-Hakami is a 13-year-old girl who got infected with HIV after being given a blood transfusion in a hospital in Jizan, in southern Saudi Arabia. The case sparked anger on social media after the health minister visited her - and gave her an iPad.
Bader Thawab is a Saudi Twitter user who was arrested back in September 2012 after writing tweets calling for the fall of the Saudi monarchy. Journalist Iman al-Qahtani managed to get a leaked copy of the list of charges that he faces, and published them online. Among the charges are following political dissidents on Twitter.
Last Saturday, February 9th, a small protest was organized in front of the building of Human Rights Commission in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia by a group of women and children including the wife, daughter and granddaughter of Suliman al-Rushoodi, the detained chairman of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association. The women were set free today - but the case against them was not dismissed. They will stand trial again on February 27.
A new trial was supposed to start today [Feb 4, 2013] for Saudi Political and Civil Rights Association (ACPRA) co-founder Dr Abdulkareem al-Khudr. Two of the association's co-founders, Dr Abdullah al-Hamid and Dr Mohammad al-Qahtani, have been already under trial and contentious weekly interrogation for over the previous six months. al-Khudr is the author of several papers making the case for political and civil rights from an Islamic prospective, contradicting the state's official positions.