Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Where’s the Outrage Over the Beheadings in Saudi Arabia? (from @Truthdig)

Where’s the Outrage Over the Beheadings in Saudi Arabia? (from @Truthdig)

1 comment:

Tim Nolan said...

By the time you read this column, Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, Dawoud Hussein al-Marhoon and Abdullah Hasan al-Zaher may be dead.

In case you’ve never heard their names, they are young prisoners of conscience currently housed in solitary confinement at the notorious al-Ha’ir penitentiary in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. They are waiting to be beheaded. In all likelihood, as is Saudi custom, no advance public notice of their executions will be given. We’ll learn of their demise only after the fact, via social media, or when the Saudi government officially announces that their sentences have been carried out.

Al-Nimr, al-Marhoon and al-Zaher are Shiite Muslims who were arrested without warrants at different times in 2012 for participating in pro-democracy protests in the country’s Eastern province during the Arab Spring uprising of 2011-2012. Al-Nimr and al-Marhoon were 17 years old when they were apprehended; al-Zaher was 16.

Although approximately 90 percent of the Saudi population consists of Sunni Muslims, the oil-rich Eastern province is predominantly Shiite. Relations between the two strands of Islam have never been good in Saudi Arabia, but tensions have reached a fever pitch in recent years. Branded as apostates by prominent Sunni clerics, the Shiites of Saudi Arabia are an oppressed and segregated minority, historically excluded from access to government services, jobs and leadership positions and often subject to arbitrary arrest and imprisonment.