For critics of the mainstream media’s prior fawning over MbS’ supposed “reform-minded” agenda involving all the pieces from opening the dominion as much as ladies driving to co-ed cinemas to late-night pop concert events, this week’s bombshell human rights report within the Wall Road Journal will come as no shock. Males surrounding bin Salman, who previous to Jamal Khashoggi’s homicide was dubbed “Crown Prince charming” and Saudi Arabia’s “reform-minded royal” by Western press, are now being investigated for torturing and threatening to rape outstanding Saudi ladies’s rights activists who’ve been detained for months.
Maybe to be anticipated, the prime MbS prime aide beneath investigation by a human rights committee is none apart from Saud al-Qahtani — already the chief fall man for Khashoggi’s loss of life as Riyadh tries to stem worldwide outrage — accused of a abdomen churning litany of abuses in opposition to ladies driving activists who have been detained final Spring and early summer time.
Notably, the fee stories on to King Salman, which little question suggests MbS shall be fastidiously shielded from any wrongdoing within the inquiry.
Based on the WSJ:
A human-rights fee reporting to Saudi King Salman is investigating the alleged torture of detained ladies’s rights activists, together with accusations of waterboarding and electrocution, based on authorities officers and different folks acquainted with the activists’ state of affairs.
Victims describe threats of rape and loss of life whereas tortured by electrocution and beating to the purpose that – based on one testimony featured by the WSJ – a detainee’s “fingers resembled barbecued meat, swollen and blue.”
The remedy additional included “lashing and sexual harassment” based on the testimony of one in all extra outstanding detainees, 29-year outdated ladies’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul, who was locked up in Jeddah’s Dabhan jail. “Saud al-Qahtani threatened to rape her, kill her and to throw her into the sewage,” an eyewitness interviewed by the Saudi fee stated.
Amongst 18 of the feminine prisoners, about half are reported to have suffered torture and abuse. Notably, none have ever been formally charged with a criminal offense, based on the WSJ.
Most have been arrested throughout the very months the dominion was taking steps to legalize ladies’s driving, absurdly sufficient, and it is believed they defied a state ban on speaking to the media concerning the concern at a delicate second for Riyadh’s leaders. Saudi media and political officers had extensively blamed the ladies for “sowing discord” and conspiring with overseas powers.
The Saudi authorities, in the meantime, has referred to as the allegations “wild claims” whereas denying that it sanctioned torture of the activists or that safety officers have been concerned. Thus the Saudi fee seems one massive whitewashing PR operation designed to once more defend Saudi’s leaders – and particularly MbS – from any wrongdoing. Count on extra scapegoats to be held up for western media consumption so Riyadh can declare “justice is served” and there is “nothing to see right here”.
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