Women Demonstrate in Qassim

Fifteen women and seven children have demonstrated outside a state security HQ demanding a fair public trial for their husbands, stop torture, and transfer them back to a local prison. Fouad al-Farhan, the blogger who has been on hiatus for a long time and now is back, broke the story on his blog.

This is important because it is the first time for women to hold a public demonstration in protest in Saudi Arabia. I doubt that mainstream media would actually cover the story, and hence it is important to spread the word online in blogs and forums. Go to Fouad’s blog now and sign your name in support of these women, and make sure this reaches as many people as possible.

UPDATE: Reuters confirmed the story.

RIYADH, July 16 (Reuters) – Wives of Saudi men detained on suspicion of links to militant groups complained to the authorities on Monday, saying their husbands should be released or face a public trial, families said.

“Our husbands and sons are in prison … We have sent telegrams and we’ve gone to the Human Rights Commission but it’s useless. So we are staging this sit-in,” Rima al-Juraish said by telephone. She said she was speaking from outside a state security headquarters in the Qassim region north of Riyadh.

She said the women wanted cases involving their families brought to court, legal representation for the men, an end to “mistreatment” and their return to a local prison.

Juraish said the detainees, who have been held for periods ranging from two to five years, were removed to Riyadh last month for induction in a “correction” programme run by clerics that authorities say has led more than 700 suspects to “repent”.

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19 thoughts on “Women Demonstrate in Qassim

  1. Not to pick a fight, but what evidence is there that the men these women are demonstrating for don’t need to be where they are? The articles are full of assertions of fact, but I just don’t find anything to back them up.

    I’d welcome new information.

  2. BTW, if the above sounds cynical, that’s because it is. I’ve dealt with many demonstrations over various topics that were high on the emotional content and the buzzwords, but simply lacked any factual basis.

    I don’t know that that’s the case in this instance, I truly don’t. But I do ask for more than that someone is demonstrating against something so they must be right.

  3. John,

    I’d stand up for 15 women and 7 kids till i find a reason why not.

    You must be kidding. Do you think that we have the freedom to go to authorities and check on the accuracy of this story?

  4. Absolutely agree about the fair trial. No question.

    I think the gov’t has a long way to go when it comes to transparency. Any time it decides to start isn’t soon enough.

    But I’ve had too many experiences where people pull on emotional strings because they don’t don’t have anything else to fight with. Not because they’re being maltreated, simply because they’re wrong.

    I guess I’m just hard-hearted, but anytime somebody starts bringing out the women and children, I get very suspicious. Not just in the KSA, but everywhere.

  5. The thing about human rights is that they pre exist any law designed to protect them. Every person born to this planet is entitled, as of right, to certain rights. They are entitled to these rights not because they are innocent or because they have earned them, but rather because of the mere fact of their birth.

    These men, whether they are guilty or innocent have a right to a fair trial. No matter that they may have committed the most heinous of crimes even against the most innocent of the society. It is their inalienable right.

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  7. THESE WOMEN ARE BRAVE AND RIGHTFULLY SO. ALL PEOPLE SHOULD BE GIVEN A FAIR TRIAL AND PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY, THAT SHOULD BE A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT!!!

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