Saudi woman facing the death penalty for peaceful protest

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF GLOBAL VOICES)

 

Israa Al-Ghomgham, a Saudi woman facing the death penalty for peaceful protest

Human rights advocate Israa Al-Ghomgham is facing the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, for her non-violent human rights related activities.

Al-Ghomgham was arrested in 2015 along with her husband, activist Mousa Al-Hashim, over their roles in anti-government protests in Al-Qatif back in 2011, when pro-democracy protests spread across the Middle East and North Africa.

A #FreeIsraa campaign photo, circulated on Twitter.

Al-Qatif is located in the Eastern Province, where most of the country’s Shiite minority — who make up 10 to 15 percent of the population live. Shiite Muslims in the Sunni-dominated kingdom face ”pervasive discrimination”, including unfair treatment under the justice system, government interference with their religious practices, exclusion from public sector jobs, in addition to stigma and sectarian speech, according to Human Rights Watch.

Alongside many other Saudi Shiites, Al-Ghomgham and her husband were protesting these injustices and demanding that the Saudi government uphold their human rights.

Al-Ghomgham faces eight charges including “preparing, sending and storing material that would harm the public order” under Article 6 of the Cybercrime Act of 2007. She also stands accused of “inciting rallies and young people against the state and security forces on social networking sites”, and posting photos and video of these protests online. State prosecutors for her case are seeking the death penalty.

She was put on trial in early August 2018 before the counter-terrorism court, the Specialised Criminal Court (SCC). A second hearing took place on October 28, but neither her nor the other defendants in the case were brought to court, the Gulf Center for Human Rights reported. The next hearing is scheduled for November 21.

#IsraaAlGhomgham #إسراء_الغمغام@IsraaAlGhomgham

Today second court hearing did take place, but neither Israa nor the other activists being trialled alongside her were present.

It is unknown why the Saudi authorities failed to transport them to the courtroom

Third court hearing will be Wednesday 21st November

In addition to Al-Ghomgham, five more individuals are standing trial before the SCC this week for charges related to exercising their peaceful rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, according to Amnesty International. The human rights organisation documented eight cases where activists are facing the death penalty:

The Public Prosecution’s recurring calls to resort to the death penalty in the past three months for at least eight individuals raises the alarm about the fate of dozens of activists who are currently detained without charge or trial and for those currently on trial before the SCC.

Among those who stood trial this week was religious cleric Salman al-Awda. State security officials arrested him in September 2017 and charged him with a litany of offenses, including calling for reforms and regime change in the Arab region. He also faces the death penalty.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s attorney general Saud al-Mujib arrived in Turkey on Monday to join an investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Al-Mujib has often been sent after political rivals of the monarchy, and those who challenge the kingdom’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Leaders around the world have pointed at Bin Salman, accusing him of playing a role in the journalist’s murder.

Many are wondering how Bin Salman can endeavor to bring justice to Jamal while at the same time seeking the death penalty against those practicing their rights to freedom of expression.

د. عبدالله العودة

@aalodah

The same Saudi Attorney General who sought death penalty against my father @salman_alodah and others because of their peaceful activism, is going to Turkey to discuss the death of who was killed because of his peaceful activism!
🤔

Germany: Kuwait Airlines Discrimination Against Israeli’s Won’t Be Tollerated

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘JEWISH NEWS’)

 

Kuwait Airways is under intense legal and political pressure in Germany for discriminating against Israelis.

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The gulf kingdom airline, already the subject of legal proceedings in the Frankfurt District Court after it banned an Israeli passenger from boarding a flight to Thailand last summer, now faces pressure from German Federal Minister of Transport, Alexander Dobrindt. He has ordered a state investigation into whether the airline’s policy of refusing service to Israeli nationals violates air traffic laws.

Volker Beck, a former Bundestag member from the Green Party, made clear what he sees as the choice facing Kuwait Airways. He demanded: “Stop the discrimination or stop doing business in Germany.”

Pressure is mounting on the gulf state’s national airline to stop targeting would-be passengers purely on the basis of Israeli nationality. Cases have already been brought against Kuwait Airways in the United States and Switzerland, leading to the cancellation of the airline’s JFK-London Heathrow flight path.

In October, Israeli-Arab social media star Nas Daily, produced a facebook video after he was banned from boarding a Kuwait Airways flight from New York to India because of his Israeli passport. The video has received over 700,000 views.

Brooke Goldstein of the Lawfare Project, which is assisting the Israelis banned from travelling with their legal case said, “We commend the German Federal Ministry of Transport for launching an investigation into Kuwait Airway’s discriminatory practices. Our team will continue to pursue legal action until the German Government makes clear that Kuwait Airways must either comply with the law or cease doing business in their country.”

Nathan Gelbart, the Lawfare Project’s German Counsel said, “This case makes clear that there should be no room for discrimination in Germany. Our country’s laws and common values should call German policymakers to act immediately in ending Kuwait Airways systematic violations of civil rights in our country.”

 

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