Activists Release New Statement

A group of political and human rights activists in Saudi Arabia have sent an open letter to the head of Human Rights Commission (HRC), the government body concerned with human rights, asking the commission to act according to its responsibilities regarding the reformists who were detained last February.

The letter, which was also sent to the head of Shoura Council, the minister of justice and the head of NSHR, asked HRC to handle the case of the detainees and ensure to grant them their lawful rights which were violated upon their detention. It also pointed out to the arrests of other activists known for their social status and contributions who also underwent the same violations.

“These actions by some bodies violate basic human rights, and do not go well with the reforming steps led by King Abdullah,” the letter read, but it does not go as far as naming these bodies. It does not, however, take much thinking to realize that the letter talks about the Ministry of Interior, which said the arrest were related to allegation of financing terrorism.

The letter was signed by 76 activists, including many well-known reform figures such as Ali al-Domaini, Matruk al-Faleh and Khalid al-Umair. The list of signatories also included many Shiite activists such as Najib al-Khonaizi, Mohammed al-Ali and Jaafar al-Shayeb.

However, as Abu-Joori pointed out, the list reveals the absence of any prominent religious leaders. “It indicates the ignorance in which the leaders of Sahwa and Islamists in Saudi Arabia are plagued with when it comes to human rights issues.” On the other hand, many of the so-called liberals are absent from this list, he added.

I believe all the demands in the letter are fair and the detainees should be granted their rights according to the law immediately. But it is anyone’s guess if the receivers of this letter would actually respond to it. Let’s wait and see, but my advice is not to get your hopes too hight. I, for one, again, is not holding my breath.

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