The German Parliament and Al-Hathloul’s sister criticize Saudi Arabia’s human rights...

The Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid in the German Parliament expressed its deep concern about the human rights situation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where “selective social reforms have taken place, including the limited liberalization of women’s rights and the economic restrictions placed on them.” The committee also criticized “political restrictions and prosecution of opponents who demand the protection of human rights and democratic reforms.”

The German committee’s position came in a statement, a few days before the holding of a hypothetical G20 summit headed by Saudi Arabia during the month of November, which was followed by widespread criticism because of Riyadh’s record in the field of human rights.

Loujain Al-Hathloul driving the car in 2014 before it was officially allowed

Al-Hathloul at the forefront

From Berlin, the sister of Loujain Al-Hathloul, a Saudi activist imprisoned since 2018, urged the G20 members to pressure the Saudi authorities to release the detained Saudi activists. Lina Al-Hathloul said, “We don’t know anything about Loujain since October 26. When my parents visited her that day, I told them that she was almost losing hope and that she had started a hunger strike.”

Lina Al-Hathloul told France Press that her sister was subjected to torture and sexual harassment at the beginning of her detention, accusations also made by international NGOs. And she continued, “Today there is no longer any physical torture, but they are trying to destroy it psychologically,” speaking of her being placed for long periods in solitary confinement and preventing her from communicating with the outside.

Lina Al-Hathloul said, “We no longer really believe in the new Saudi Arabia led by Mohammed bin Salman. The real reformers in this country are now behind bars and can no longer express their opinion. … world leaders are now required to express our voice.”

The young woman emphasized that the “silent diplomacy” with regard to human rights that Western democracies constantly pursue, preferring to address these issues behind closed doors and in private meetings, does not produce results.

“I do not know if my sister knows exactly what is happening in the world. I just want to tell her that the whole world is still fighting for her release, and that he is looking forward to her as a heroine and not as a traitor,” she added.

Improve the image of Riyadh?

Loujain Al-Hathloul, 31, has fought with other Saudi women for years for the right of women to drive and for an end to the male guardianship system over women in the kingdom that applies Islamic law, but she was arrested along with other activists at the same time that Riyadh allowed women to drive cars.

Eight of them were released in 2019, but they are still being prosecuted, and five others, including Loujain Al-Hathloul, are still in prison and have not been tried. Loujain was imprisoned on charges of communicating with NGOs, media outlets and foreign diplomats.

Saudi Arabia intends to benefit from its presidency of the G20 summit to try to improve its image in the international arena, and to seek to attract foreign investment, two years after the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who reported the direct involvement of the Crown Prince in his death, but Riyadh has repeatedly denied the matter and denies torture. For activists.

UAE / K.S. (AFP, DW)

  • Portraitfoto: Mohammed bin Salman (picture-alliance/AP/A. Nabil)

    They were surrounded by the Khashoggi murder case and embarrassed them in front of public opinion

    Mohammed bin Salman

    The Saudi crown prince prepared everything for the leadership of Saudi Arabia to succeed his father, and despite the heavy files he was accused of being involved in, such as the Yemen war and the widespread campaign of arrests, the assassination of Khashoggi in his country’s consulate put the young prince in the crosshairs of criticism, especially with the CIA leaks that concluded that the operation took place. With his approval. Several media reports do not exclude the Saudi palace, in the event of intense pressure on it, to remove the crown prince from his post.

  • Indonesia Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in Jakarta (Reuters / W. Kurniawan)

    They were surrounded by the Khashoggi murder case and embarrassed them in front of public opinion

    Adel Al-Jubeir

    Al-Jubeir completely disappeared in the Khashoggi case, even though it was a consulate for which he was politically responsible. The observer was accustomed to the many statements of the young foreign minister in his defense of the royal palace, but his silence gave a message that there were high orders to avoid commenting in the Khashoggi case. The first statement from Al-Jubeir in the case was: “The Saudi leadership is a red line,” and it seems that the man counts a thousand times before giving any word so that he does not find himself in the circle of exemption or accountability.

  • Ahmed Assiri Saudi Arabien General Brigadier (Getty Images / AFP / F. Nureldine)

    They were surrounded by the Khashoggi murder case and embarrassed them in front of public opinion

    Bin Salman Court

    Despite all that Counselor Saud Al-Qahtani provided, including his leadership of electronic propaganda tools and his “hostile” responses to the crown prince’s opponents, and despite Ahmed Al-Asiri carrying out the tasks of communication in the Yemen war and then moving to the intelligence services based on bin Salman’s wish, they were in the first ranks of those who were sacrificed In the Khashoggi case. However, their bad luck made their removal from their posts of no value, and the repercussions of the case did not stop.

  • Saudi Arabia businessman Waleed Al Ibrahim (picture-alliance / abaca / Balkis Press)

    They were surrounded by the Khashoggi murder case and embarrassed them in front of public opinion

    Saudi media

    Many questions arise about the way the Saudi media has dealt with the issue. First, it became acquainted with the official denial and held Iran, Qatar and the Brotherhood responsible. And when Saudi Arabia began to admit that the crime had occurred, the media itself made a great effort to try to convince the public opinion of a story that many doubted, at a time when the Qatari media used the case to “settle” his country’s accounts with Riyadh. (Pictured is Walid Ibrahim, owner of MBC Group).

  • Abdurrahman ibn Abdulaziz as-Sudais Imam and Koran reciter from Mecca (picture-alliance / AP Images / M. Elshamy)

    They were surrounded by the Khashoggi murder case and embarrassed them in front of public opinion

    Abdullrahman Alsudais

    Muslims know the preacher of the Grand Mosque in Mecca with his voice widespread in the tapes of reading the Qur’an, but they were surprised by him reading political sermons defending the Crown Prince in an unprecedented way. Al-Sudais found an explanation for the Khashoggi case by saying that there is an attempt to provoke the feelings of a million Muslims, but al-Sudais is not alone in this context, as the entire Saudi religious establishment defends the palace’s policies, and has always expressed positions in favor of the country’s rulers.

  • USA, Washington: Trump holds a cabinet meeting in the White House (Reuters / K. Lamarque)

    They were surrounded by the Khashoggi murder case and embarrassed them in front of public opinion

    Donald

    Many scandals besieged the US president and managed to escape from them, but Khashoggi’s hammer was knocking in his head several weeks ago. Pressure in the United States is pushing Trump to update his statements on the issue, which led to his contradiction more than once in the answers. Trump knows that succumbing to pressure may cost him losing his relationship with Bin Salman, and from there losing huge financial deals, so he tries to find a compromise formula that does not strike his alliance with the Saudis in killing.

  • Donald Trump und Jared Kushner (picture-alliance/AP Photo/E. Vucci)

    They were surrounded by the Khashoggi murder case and embarrassed them in front of public opinion

    Jared Kushner

    Trump’s son-in-law and one of his advisers. He is known for being one of bin Salman’s best friends abroad. American media reports say that he is the important mediator between bin Salman and Trump, and that he has always defended Riyadh in the corridors of American politics and found many excuses for the Saudi crown prince, but it seems that he could not find the appropriate excuses in the Khashoggi case, but Kushner, according to media reports, He avoids direct contact with bin Salman about the issue.

  • Saudi-Arabien Riad Prinzen Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan - Mohammed bin Salman (picture-alliance/AA/B. Algaloud)

    They were surrounded by the Khashoggi murder case and embarrassed them in front of public opinion

    Mohammed bin Zayed

    The Crown Prince of the UAE wagered on Muhammad bin Salman, in order to besiege political Islam and Iranian influence and stop the repercussions of the Arab Spring, but the architect of the Emirati policies did not make any positions in the Khashoggi case, so has he completely abandoned his young ally? The depth of the partnership between the two men makes each of them need the other in such sensitive files, but the earthquake caused by Khashoggi’s killing is very strong and its fragments reached far beyond what the owners of the operation could imagine.

  • Egypt's President al-Sisi sworn in for second term (picture-alliance / Xinhua / MENA)

    They were surrounded by the Khashoggi murder case and embarrassed them in front of public opinion

    Abdel Fattah Sisi

    Since his rise to the presidency, Al-Sisi has been a strategic ally of Saudi Arabia, especially in the battle against the Brotherhood. Al-Sisi is betting on Saudi aid to improve the conditions of an economically suffering country, and in return he does not skimp on any form of political support for Riyadh. But his defense of it was modest in the Khashoggi case. Al-Sisi is aware that the fall of bin Salman will negatively affect his rule of Egypt, but he does not want to raise the tone in a crime that will add more blackness to his human rights history.

  • Luxembourg President Emmanuel Macron (Imago / Belga / E. Lalmand)

    They were surrounded by the Khashoggi murder case and embarrassed them in front of public opinion

    Emmanuel Macron

    Like most Western leaders, the French president raises the slogan of human rights in his dealings with the East, but when it comes to Saudi Arabia, which is buying millions of euros from France’s weapons, Macron finds the economic and strategic justifications for the continuation of the relationship. Even when voices were raised by stopping arms exports in response to Khashoggi’s murder, Macron responded sharply, reflecting his difficult position, but he tried to recognize the gravity of Khashoggi’s crime.

  • Theresa May (Reuters/H. Nicholls)

    They were surrounded by the Khashoggi murder case and embarrassed them in front of public opinion

    Theresa May

    Months ago, dozens of protesters came out to pressure the British Prime Minister to stop the arms deals during her reception for Bin Salman, but she refused to abandon the London-Riyadh alliance. May faces difficult days due to calls to withdraw confidence from her, so she does not want to add a new headache regarding the Khashoggi case, and she tried to provide a strong response by describing Saudi Arabia’s first admission in the case of a loss of credibility, but such statements did not heal her opponents.

  • Israel PK Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem (Reuters / R. Zvulun)

    They were surrounded by the Khashoggi murder case and embarrassed them in front of public opinion

    Benjamin Netanyahu

    The Israeli leadership waited for decades for a moderate stance from Saudi Arabia until the era of Bin Salman, who did not object to Israel’s right to exist. Therefore, his current crisis is a problem for Benjamin Netanyahu, who definitely does not want to isolate a prince who shares many goals with Israel, including the “deal of the century” and its role in the NEOM project, standing in the face of the Iranian project in the region, and dwarfing the role of Hamas and the rest of the Palestinian fighting factions.

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