Criticizing the Saudi Regime a Capital Offense
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Saudi Arabia is a despotic family owned and controlled territory masquerading as a nation-state.
Its ruling authorities are allied with the US global war OF terror, using ISIS and likeminded jihadists as imperial foot soldiers.
Criticizing their policies publicly assures longterm imprisonment or death, most often by beheading. The kingdom is the world's head-chopping capital, one of its many barbaric practices.
The same goes for its policy of public whippings performed by religious police, including for not praying at designated times when in public, improper dress code, non-observance of gender segregation, and other practices not conforming with Wahhabis extremism.
Murtaja Qureiris, aged-18, was arrested by the Saudis at age-13, three years after taking part in a pro-democracy bike demonstration in 2011 at age-10.
Most often it's a capital offense in the kingdom not known for leniency, the Arab world's most oppressive regime, run by the House of Saud crime family, closely allied to the US and West.
Following his arrest, Qureiris was isolated in solitary confinement, subjected to torture and other forms of abuse during interrogation, forcing him to confess to false charges.
At age-16, he was moved to the al-Mabaheth adult prison in al-Dammam, denied access to legal counsel until appearing at the kangaroo/rubber stamp specialized criminal court last August, used against regime critics.
He's falsely charged with anti-government activities, joining a terrorist organization, throwing Molotov cocktails at a police station, firing at security forces, and attending his brother's 2011 funeral, killed during a protest that year.
Last summer, the Saudi public prosecutor sought the death penalty for Qureiris, what awaits him despite guilty of no crimes.
Barbaric Saudi practices aim to crush dissent. In April, the regime executed 37 people, falsely accused of terrorism and related crimes they didn't commit.
Virtually everyone accused in the kingdom is guilty by accusation, rubber-stamp courts pronouncing harsh sentences, time and again ordering beheadings, the spectacle usually carried out in public.
According to the official SPA news agency, at least 100 people were executed so far this year. The kingdom treats young children as viciously as adults.
It's the same way Israel operates, the region's most ruthlessly repressive state, run by fascist regimes waging war on Palestinians without declaring it.
Due process and equal justice under law are non-starters in both countries. Qureiris denied charges against him, explaining confessions were forced under duress.
No formal Saudi penal code exists. Prosecutors and judges charge and convict targeted individuals for catch-all offenses like "terrorism," "breaking allegiance with the ruler," "trying to distort the reputation of the kingdom," and similar fabricated charges.
Harshly treated in detention, regime critics are held indefinitely or sentenced to death, following torture and other abuses.
Minority Shias face severe persecution, limiting their religious freedom, their right to work, and receive state services.
Shia activists face arrest, imprisonment, and often death following rigged trials against them.
In 2014, prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr was beaten, shot, arrested, tortured, and denied vitally needed medical treatment for expressing his views freely.
In 2017, he was executed for nonexistent sedition, authorities falsely claiming he was involved in "foreign meddling in (Saudi affairs), disobeying its rulers, and taking up arms against the security forces."
Not a shred of evidence proved it. He justifiably criticized repressive Saudi rule, calling it "particularly reactionary."
He opposed violence and "murder in the name of God." He called for open, free and fair elections, advocating governance "based on justice and liberty" – entirely absent in the kingdom.
He publicly denounced Saudi oppression of Shia Muslims, enjoyed widespread popularity for his views, and was eliminated to silence him – part of Riyadh's campaign to crush dissent.
For the US and West, Saudi ruthlessness doesn't matter as long as it's oil rich and its wealth is invested in Western assets, weapons, technology, as well as other high-value products and services.
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