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Interview ( 27 Feb 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Saudi Arabia, The Hidden Uprising

Syed Ali Wasif, President of the Society for International Reforms & Research in an interview with Press TV

 February 27, 2012

A Saudi journalist named Hamza Kashgari made the mistake of opening a Twitter account. Several tweets that he posted are liable to cost him his life. What aroused the anger of the masses and the fury of the palace are the comments he made about religious “values” of Islam and its prophet Mohammed.

Saudi sheikhs, self-appointed defenders of God and guardians of the prophet, convened and discussed the burning issue. After a “profound discussion” they decided that the journalist’s tweets were words of “heresy” and that he must be tried according to the laws of Islam practiced in the kingdom. In such cases, as we know, the accused can expect the death penalty.

The issue was even placed on the table of the Saudi king himself. He ordered the arrest of the journalist, who tried to get to New Zealand. Kashgari was arrested at a stopover at the airport of the Malaysian capital. The many protests to the Malaysian government against the arrest made by international organizations were to no avail. Malaysia handed Kashgari over to Saudi security people, who flew him back to Saudi Arabia.

A prominent activist says the Saudi monarchy is abusing and torturing people in the country’s Eastern Province who are justified in their pursuit of self-determination.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Syed Ali Wasif, President of the Society for International Reforms & Research, to further discuss the issue.

The following is a transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Religious dignitaries as well as other influential people have called on the monarchy to stop the violence. How likely is it that the monarchy will listen to this plea?

Ali Wasif: Well, it’s very unlikely. It’s next to impossible because this is a matter of habitual control of the government there in Saudi Arabia. Looking at the history of the Saudi regime, Saudi monarchy, this seems nearly impossible.

Basically an absolute monarchy, they do not care about the civil rights and liberties, about human rights, about democracy, all those norms which are contrary to the democratic and well accepted norms in Western society especially in the United States.

This case of Saudi Arabia and the restive eastern province, actually you can equate that case to East Timor, the case to Pakistan-Balochistan, the case to Bosnia-Herzegovina and a recent case to South Sudan. They all had similar problems.

In fact, south Sudan was a case in point where you had similar problems where you demanded the right to self-determination. They were crushed according to UN and Western sources, the EU and the United States, that they were being persecuted.

So is the case with eastern Saudi Arabia. Same is the case with east Timor.

The United Nations intervened in South Sudan. The United Nations intervened in Bosnia and they gave them the right of self-determination. So what about east Saudi Arabia? Why not a right to self-determination to those people who are being crushed, being suppressed and are being denied of their basic rights?

The entire oil resources of Saudi Arabia, the entire earning of Saudi Arabia is dependent upon the oil of the eastern province. And these are the people who are being deprived of the basic necessities of life. These are flagrant violations of human rights and other international legal norms, civil rights and liberties and, of course, Western values.

So where is the Congress of the United States and the European Union to [give] the right of the self-determination to the eastern province of Saudi Arabia? Why don’t they intervene in this case? Where are the United Nations Security Council and the United Nations General Assembly?

Where is the [judge] of the Spanish human rights court, and the Belgium human rights to indict the Saudi Interior Minister Nayef [bin Abdul Aziz] and other Saudi princes, those involved in atrocities against those oppressed people of the eastern part of Saudi Arabia?

They should be indicted and controlled with international legal norms just as the Spanish court indicted the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998, and he was put behind bars.

Same was the case with the Israeli former leaders indicted by the Belgium court of human rights for human rights violations.

So where is the Belgium court of human rights, where is the Spanish court of human rights, the European court of human rights and the American Congress which looks for people… looking for their rights and they support them? Now what is the problem with them for supporting the eastern part of Saudi Arabia?

This is a case in point under international legal norms, a case in point for a right to self-determination. The Eastern province of Saudi Arabia should be equated with East Timor of Indonesia, with South Sudan and with Bosnia-Herzegovina…

Press TV: It baffles the mind, does it not, as to how much courage it takes for these people to come out on the streets in countries like Saudi Arabia where police brutality and torture is the status quo. Taking that into account, how significant is the holding of any demonstrations inside Saudi Arabia however small or large?

Ali Wasif: Well, I think that is totally dependent upon the people and the leadership there who are on the streets. It is very significant for the people to remain on the streets, to defy the absolute monarchy which is in contradiction with the Islamic principles, Sharia law, and in contradiction with the European law with international principles and human rights norms.

Whatever they are doing is totally under the umbrella of international legal norms. They should remain on the streets and they should demand their rights, their right to self-determination and the right to demand their own government and human rights and civil rights there.

Source: Live Trading News