November 01, 2008
(UPDATE) Starving for Detention: Pro-Saudi-Dissident Hunger Strike
A hunger strike in Saudi Arabia on behalf of Saudi dissidents in custody is set for November 6-7. It is apparently the first such hunger strike in Saudi Arabia, or at least the first publicly known one.
"To the government, we want to say that you can't put prisoners of conscience in jail without facing consequences," said Walid Abu-Alkhair, a writer and lawyer in Jiddah. "And to the activists, we want to say, you are not alone. We want to show that when you put human rights activists in jail, a new wave will come and take their place."Food for thought, or non-food as the case may be. (UPDATE: full information release/specifics further down below).
Personally I don't "get" hunger strikes, especially those that last less than one toothbrush-change cycle. (It has a Judean People's Front crack suicide squad feel to it.) And this remains so despite hunger striking's provenance among my fellow Celtic tribesmen.
But I suppose the practice must be worth something if one of hunger striking's greatest practitioners could write one of the most powerful poems ever about the driving motives behind self-sacrificing dissent, and do so even as he lay dying from his own self-inflicted iftaar-free 24/7 Sinn Fein Ramadan. The less patient reader of such things should skip to the last three stanzas for the payoff but you'll miss alot of good stuff.
UPDATE: From their Facebook site comes this explanation of demands, purposes, people, etc.
A DARING BOLD MOVE TO SUPPORT HUMAN RIGHTS >>> COMING SOON THIS NOVEMBER 6 - 7, 2008:
Defense Teams for jailed Saudi Activists Are observing and Calling for a Two-Day Hunger Strike To Show Solidarity with Detainees and To Support Their Human Rights
Saudi Justice system and legal procedures (e.g., Criminal Procedure and Arrest and Detention Laws) had failed to render just judgments to jailed Saudi human-right activists who have been arrested with no official indictments, and incarcerated indefinitely in solitary confinements with no right for an attorney or access to habeas corpus. After exerting all means to get fair treatments to the constitutional movement’s detainees, the defense teams decided to observe a 48-hour hunger strike. The proposed strike will take place on Thursday and Friday, 6-7 November 2008, in protest against flagrant human-right violations for all detainees in Saudi prisons who have been deprived of their basic rights as guaranteed by Criminal Procedure Law and Arrest and Detention Law, which stated the following:
1. The Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution shall conduct its investigation and prosecution in accordance with its Law and the implementing regulations thereof (Article 14).
2. During the investigation, the accused shall have the right to seek the assistance of a representative or an attorney (Article 64)…... to defend him during the investigation and trial stages (Article 4).
3. An arrested person shall not be subjected to any bodily or moral harm. Similarly, he shall not be subjected to any torture or degrading treatment (Article 2).
4. Whoever is arrested or detained shall be promptly notified of the reasons for his arrest or detention and shall be entitled to communicate with any person of his choice to inform him of his arrest (Article 116).
5. In all cases, the Investigator shall order that the accused may not communicate with any other prisoner or detainee, and that he not be visited by anyone (i.e., solitary confinements) for a period not exceeding sixty days if the interest of the investigation so requires, without prejudice to the right of the accused to communicate with his representative or attorney (Article 119).
6. In cases that require detention for a longer period, the matter shall be referred to the Director of the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution to issue an order that the arrest be extended for a period or successive periods none of which shall exceed thirty days and their aggregate shall not exceed six months from the date of arrest of the accused. Thereafter, the accused shall be directly transferred to the competent court, or be released (Article 114).
7. Court hearings shall be public (Article 155). The judgment shall be read in an open session at which the parties must be present……. supporting evidence and arguments, the stages of the action, the text of the judgment, reasons and legal bases therefore, and whether it was rendered unanimously or by majority vote (Article 182).
8. A visitation right for prisoners by their family members, friends and legal counselors (Arrest and Detention Law, Article 12)
We declared our observance of a hunger strike in solidarity with following jailed human-right activists from the constitutional movement and civil society in Saudi Arabia:
1. Professor Matrook H. Al-Faleh, political science professor at King Saud University in Riyadh, detained by security forces in May 19, 2008.
2. Attorney Suliman Ibrahim Al-Reshoudi, former judge and human-right advocate, detained in February 2, 2007.
3. Attorney Dr. Mousa Mohammed Al-Qarni, former university professor and human-right activist, detained in February 2, 2007.
4. Professor Abdulrahman Abdullah Al-Shomairy, former professor of education and human-right activist, detained in February 2, 2007.
5. Dr. Abdulaziz Suliman Al-Khereiji, human-right activist, detained in February 2, 2007.
6. Saifaldeen Faisal Al-Sherif, human-right activist, detained in February 2, 2007.
7. Fahd Alskaree Al-Qurashi, human-right activist, detained in February 2, 2007.
8. Abdulrahman Bin Sadiq, Human-right activist, detained in February 2, 2007.
9. Dr. Saud Mohammed Al-Hashemi, human-right activist, detained in February 2, 2007.
10. Ali Khosifan Al-Qarni, human-right activist, detained in February 2, 2007.
11. Mansour Salim Al-Otha, human-right activist, detained in December 12, 2007.
We, furthermore, announced our sympathies with all opinion prisoners in the Saudi jails who suffer human-right abuses with no fair chances of defending themselves in accordance with Criminal Procedure Law and by getting fair and just trials. Many activists have answered our call (their names will be announced at a later date), and they will participate in the proposed 48-hour hunger strike during the two specified dates to show their objection against the repeated violations of the criminal and detention laws vis-à-vis jailed activists. Our demand is quite simple: either to set the detainees free or instantly grant them fair and public trials.
We welcome all activists and citizens who have conscious feelings and interested in participating in the proposed hunger strike to show sympathy and solidarity with all detainees whose basic rights have been violated. Their names and information can be registered by calling members of the defense teams whose phone numbers appear below.
Names of the members of the defense teams who are participating in the hunger strike to show solidarity with the aforementioned detainees:
1. Ayman Mohammad Al-Rashed, human-right activist.
2. Saud Ahmed Al-Degaither, human-right activist.
3. Professor Abdulkareem Yousef Al-Khadher, College of Islamic Jurisprudence, Qassim University.
4. Dr. Abdulrahman Hamed Al-Hamed, professor of Islamic economics.
5. Abdullah Mohammad Al-Zahrani, human-right activist.
6. Abdulmohsin Ali Al-Ayashi, human-right activist.
7. Fahd Abdulaziz Al-Oraini, human-right activist.
mobile# +966502566678 email: email@example.com
8. Fowzan Mohsin Al-Harbi, Human-right activist.
mobile# +966501916774 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
9. Dr. Mohammad Fahd Al-Qahtani, college professor and TV show host.
mobile# +966555464345 email: email@example.com
10. Mohana Mohammed Al-Faleh, human-right activist.
11. Nasser Salim Al-Otha, human-right activist.
12. Hashim Abdullah Al-Refai, writer and activist.
13. Waleed Sami Abu Alkhair, writer and activist.
mobile# +966567761788 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Short URL to this group: http://rb6.me/ksa
The orginal FB group in Arabic:
The First Group of Human Right Activists Who have Answered Our Call for Participating in The 48-Hour Hunger Strike:
1. Ibrahim Muqaiteeb Al-Muqaiteeb, Human Rights First Society Saudi Arabia.
2. Thamer Awadh Al-Towerqi, Constitutional Reform and Civil Society.
3. Hussain Mahdi Al-Yami, Human Right Activist.
4. Hamed Salim Al-Salim, Human Right Activist.
5. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Doraibi, Human Right Activist.
6. Saeed Hadi Al-Mansour, Human Right Activist.
7. Saleem Moazi Al-Otha, Human Right Activist.
8. Saleh Ibrahim Al-Sowayan, Human Right Activist.
9. Saleh Ali Al-Amer, Human Right Activist.
10. Professor Abdullah Hamid Al-Hamid, Former Professor of Arabic Literature at Imam University, Member of Constitutional Reform and Civil Society.
11. Abdulrahman Harkati, Constitutional Reform and Civil Society.
12. Esam Ahmad Mudeer, Media personality and researcher in comparative religions.
13. Ali Mohammed Al-Yami, Human Right Activist.
14. Mohammed Hudaijan Al-Harbi, Constitutional Reform and Civil Society.
15. Mosfer Saleh Al-Wadee, Constitutional Reform and Civil Society.
16. Maha Abdulrahman Al-Qahtani, Human Right Activist.
17. Norah Al-Roetaa, College Student
18. Samira Bitar, Social Activist
19. Reem Abdullah Al-Qahtani, Blogger, Teacher, and poet
20. Dr. Wajnaat Abdulraheem Al-Maimani, Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence and Professor Al-Shomairy's Wife.
21. Lyna Abdulrahman Al-Shomairy, Professor Al-Shomairy's Daughter.
22. Aymman Abdulrahman Al-Shomairy, Professor Al-Shomairy' Daughter.
23. Najlaa Abdulrahman Al-Shomairy, Professor Al-Shomairy's Daughter.
24. Safaa Abdulrahman Al-Shomairy, Professor Al-Shomairy's Daughter.
25. Omar Abdulrahman Al-Shomairy, Professor Al-Shomairy's Son.
26. Salahaldeen Abdulrahman Al-Shomairy, Professor Al-Shomairy's Son.
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Thank you for reporting on this very important - and innovative - campaign from Saudi human rights activists. For more information about the campaign and why these activists are calling for justice (and why online), watch interviews of two of the organizers of the hunger strike, and an overview of the campaign from leading Saudi journalist Ebtihal Mubarak at http://hub.witness.org/blog/facebooking-a-hunger-strike
- Chris Michael, WITNESS
WITNESS uses video and online technologies to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations.
Posted by: chris michael at November 7, 2008 05:37 PM