Saudi Arabia – an absolutist tyranny

"The Rapid Intervention Group also appears to have been involved in the detention and abuse of about a dozen women’s rights activists, who were detained last spring and summer. The activists, who had campaigned for lifting the kingdom’s ban on driving by women, included several well-known figures: Loujain al-Hathloul, who had been jailed for trying to drive her car into the kingdom from the United Arab Emirates; Aziza al-Yousef, a retired computer science professor; and Eman al-Nafjan, the linguistics lecturer.

At first, the women were not held in a prison, but were detained informally in what appeared to be an unused palace in the Red Sea port city of Jidda, according to Ms. al-Hathloul’s sister, Alia. Each woman was locked in a small room, and the windows were covered. Some of the women were frequently taken downstairs for interrogation, which included beatings, electric shocks, waterboarding and threats of rape and murder.

In an Op-Ed article for The New York Times, Alia al-Hathloul wrote that Mr. al-Qahtani was “present several times” when her sister was tortured, and that he threatened to kill her and throw her body in the sewer.

Loujain al-Hathloul, who was jailed for trying to drive her car into the kingdom from the United Arab Emirates.CreditReuters

The treatment was so harsh that Ms. al-Nafjan tried to commit suicide, according to a United States intelligence assessment.

The women were later moved to the Dhahban Prison in Jidda, where the physical abuse stopped and their relatives were allowed to visit, Ms. al-Hathloul said.

Their trial opened in Riyadh on Wednesday, but journalists and diplomats were not permitted to attend, and the government did not announce the charges against them."   NYT


Hello?  Trump thinks that a government that treats women like this is a desirable ally?  I understand that the Israelis will stop at nothing in seeking allies against their favorite demons, the Iranians.  You remember them, pilgrims, they haunt the dreams of Israelis, neocons and evidently the Trump family.  Should they so haunt the dreams of us ordinary folk that we link our fates to that of a medieval tyranny like Saudi Arabia?  I think not.  pl

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