Latest posts by Anas Soliman
Families of Saudi's ‘Arbitrarily Imprisoned’ Protest from Home
Friday, June 7th, marked the Second Detainees Day, an event called for by anonymous advocacy group @e3teqal and @almonaseron to raise awareness about the issue of arbitrary detainment in the absolute Saudi monarchy. Participants in the protest hang the photographs of detainees on their homes to draw attention to their plight.
Saudi Arabia Blocks Instant Messaging App Viber
Following the Saudi threat to block encrypted communication software unless the government is allowed to spy, the instant messaging application Viber was blocked earlier yesterday. The website can no longer be accessed and the application does not connect.
Saudi Mobile Company Seeks Privacy Advocate's Help to Spy on Clients
Saudi Arabia's second largest telecommunication company, Mobily, has reached for a privacy advocate's help to surveil encrypted communication applications. The advocate went public with the request, publishing email exchanges online, and causing an outcry on social media, where Saudi netizens calls for laws to protect people's privacy and punish those spying on the people.
Saudi Activist Refuses Trial: “I Will Not Tolerate Women Degradation”
The fifth session of the ongoing trial of Dr. Abdulkareem al-Khudar, a co-founder of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, was held today; and as in the previous session, the judge continued to refuse to allow women to attend the public trial, saying that they shall stay at home.
Saudi Judge Bars Women from Trial of Human Rights Activist
Just ten days after the first Saudi woman was granted a lawyer's license, a judge prohibited women from attending the public trial of activist Dr. Abdualkareem al-Khudar, founding member of the Kingdom's defiant leading human rights organisation, the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA).
Saudis Debate 1,000-Mile Yemen Border Fence
Earlier this month, BBC reported that Saudi Arabia is building a 1,000-mile fence on its border with Yemen. The news was barely reported in Saudi national press, but it was widely and critically reported in Yemeni press. The development was debated tensely in the Saudi Twittersphere. Supporters cited its absolute necessity for the safety of the kingdom while opponents spoke about the tighter siege it will impose on the Yemeni people.
First Saudi Human Rights Association for Abolishing Execution Launched
Following last month's court ruling to dissolve the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) and to confiscate its (nonexistent) properties, a group of activists yesterday announced a new independent association called the Union for Human Rights. Among its stated goals, the association is seeking an end to deterrent executions, an issue rarely raised in the kingdom.
Saudi Court Sentences Reformists to 10 and 11 Years in Prison
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).
Saudi Prince: “A Rational Man Would Not Tolerate Women Going to The Streets”
A Saudi Prince said today that a rational man would not tolerate women going to the streets [in protest]. The comments, by the deputy governor of Qassim province Faisal bin Mishal, follow the crackdown on a sit-in by women, who called for the fall of the Saudi Interior Minster last Monday. The women, some with their children, as well as citizens who helped them during their protest, are now under arrest.
Women Protesters Call for the Fall of the Saudi Interior Minister
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.
Lone Saudi Protester Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison
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.
Saudi Arabia: Activist Accuses Judge of Conflict of Interest
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."
Saudi Charged for “Down with the House of Saud” Tweet
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.
Saudi Women Protesters Arrested for “Impairing Development”
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.
Saudi Activist Trial Postponed Without Prior Notice
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.
Saudi Arabia: 36 Days in Jail for a Human Rights Sign
Saudi Mohammad al-Olayan was detained for 36 days for having a sign against arbitrary detainment on his car. Although he denied the charge, saying he found the sign on his car, he was held in inhumane conditions. al-Olayan shares his experience on Twitter.
Saudi Activists’ Verdict Postponed
The verdict on the two prominent Saudi human rights activists Mohammad Al-Qahtani and Abdullah Al-Hamid, which was supposed to be delivered this Wednesday, January 15th, was postponed indefinitely.
Public Prosecutor Seeks Flogging for Saudi Women Protesters
Last Saturday, January 5th, relatives of uncharged prisoners managed to organize a small protest in Saudi Arabian city Buraida to demand the release of the prisoners. The protesters, all of them were women and children, were quickly surrounded and arrested by police forces since all methods of public dissent are strictly prohibited and harshly crushed in the absolute monarchy.
Saudi Activist Trial Hearing Concludes
The last hearing session of one of Saudi Arabia's rare public trials of two prominent human rights activists Mohammad Al-Qahtani and Abdullah Al-Hamid was held at the Riyadh Criminal Court. During the hearing, the judge said he had a report he wanted to discuss with the two activists. Dr. al-Qahtani discovered it was sourced from an anonymous Twitter user.
Massive Police Presence on “Friday for Detainees” in Saudi Arabia
Shortly after the arrest of Suleiman al-Rashoudi, the head of independent human rights organization Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), anonymous activist group @e3teqal [which translates to detain] announced that today, December 21, will be a “Friday for Detainees” and called for country-wide sit-ins. Despite heavy police presence, many were able to protest in the country where demonstrations and sit-ins are banned.
Saudi Judge: Bashar al-Assad is the Outcome of Democracy
The ninth hearing session of one of Saudi Arabia's rare public trials of two prominent human rights activists Mohammad Al-Qahtani and Abdullah Al-Hamid was held today [Dec 15, 2012] at the Riyadh Criminal Court. In the last hearing session, the defendants presented their defenses, and today, the defendants provided additional clarifications and they were questioned by the judge.