5 April 2019   1 comment

Saudi Arabia has detained 10 human rights activists who have been pushing for greater rights for women in the Kingdom. The activists join a dozen others who have been previously imprisoned for their activities. According to CBS News: “The women — some of whom have been held in solitary confinement for months — have told the court they were abused during interrogations, including being waterboarded, caned, electrocuted, sexually assaulted and threatened with rape and death.” Among those detained are two dual US-Saudi citizens: “journalist Salah al-Haidar, whose mother Aziza al-Yousef is among those on trial, and Bader al-Ibrahim, a doctor and author of a book about Shia Muslim politics, London-based Saudi rights group ALQST said.” The international community has been adamant on pressuring Saudi Arabia to honor the rights of these activists:

“On January 2, a panel of British parliament members and international lawyers sent an official request to Saudi authorities for access to the country and to detained women’s rights advocates, but the Saudi authorities have not responded. The panel issued a comprehensive report detailing the torture allegations in February. On February 14, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on Saudi Arabia to immediately and unconditionally release ‘women’s rights defenders and all human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists and other prisoners of conscience detained and sentenced merely for exercising their right to freedom of expression and for their peaceful human rights work.’ The resolution also called for an EU-wide ban on export of surveillance systems, reiterated that arms sales to Saudi Arabia contravene the EU’s common position on arms exports, and called for ‘restricted measures against Saudi Arabia in response to breaches of human rights, including asset freezes and visa bans.’

“On March 7, 2019, 36 countries at the UN Human Rights Council issued a joint statement calling on Saudi Arabia ‘to release all individuals, including Loujain al-Hathloul, Eman al-Nafjan, Aziza al Yousef, Nassima al-Sadah, Samar Badawi, Nouf Abdelaziz, Hatoon al-Fassi, Mohammed AlBajadi, Amal Al-Harbi and Shadan al-Anezi, detained for exercising their fundamental freedoms.’

“In February, a bipartisan group of US Congressional representatives led by Congresswoman Lois Frankel issued a resolution calling on Saudi Arabia to immediately and unconditionally release jailed Saudi women’s rights activists and hold those responsible for abuses accountable. A bipartisan group of US Senators led by Senator Marco Rubio introduced a similar resolution in the US Senate.”

Unfortunately, US President Trump has yet to even mention the serious violations of human rights by Saudi Arabia.

Emma Lazarus wrote the poem “The New Colossus” which are the words held high by the Statue of Liberty. The poem is deeply moving:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

These words have inspired millions and have served the interests of the United States since its inception. Today President Trump said: “Can’t take you anymore. Can’t take you. Our country is full. Our area is full, the sector is full. Can’t take you anymore. I’m sorry. So turn around. That’s the way it is.”  A sad day for a country populated by only four categories of people: Native Americans, immigrants, slaves, or refugees.

Posted April 5, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

One response to “5 April 2019

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  1. “Can’t take you anymore. Can’t take you. Our country is full.” Too bad we can’t rid ourselves of pompous, ignorant people like Trump to make room for those who are more deserving of being called Americans.


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