Analyst Deplores Saudi Crackdown on Opposition
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A prominent Washington-based political analyst slammed the government of Riyadh for its ruthless suppression of opposition groups.
Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency on the sidelines of a protest rally held outside the Arab country’s embassy in the US capital of Washington D.C., the founder and director of the Washington-based Institute for (Persian) Gulf Affairs Ali al-Ahmed said that the protesters have gathered to condemn the widespread violations of human rights in Saudi Arabia.
“We are here to react to the punitive measures in Saudi Arabia, because the Saudi government is punishing and hurting thousands (of its opposition) inside and outside prisons,” al-Ahmed underscored.
Al-Ahmed further lashed out at the Saudi Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef for his support for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group.
“He (bin Nayef) is the one who arrests women for driving, kills children, runs death squads, and tortures bloggers and twiterists,” the director of the Saudi think tank in Washington added.
Earlier on Thursday, a gathering was held in the US capital outside the Saudi embassy. In the protest rally, the protesters voiced their outrage over the Saudi government’s moves to torture prisoners and flog women drivers and social activists in the country.
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are prohibited from driving.
The rally was organized by the peace group Codepink and al-Ahmed. Wearing masks of Saudi Interior Minister Mohammad bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, protesters slammed the Saudi official for his moves to support the human right violations.
The demonstrators also carried placards saying “STOP THE HYPOCRISY HUMAN RIGHTS FOR ALL” and “WOMEN DRIVING IS NOT TERRORISM”.
They also voiced their support for Raif Badawi, a young Saudi prisoner, who has been flogged 50 times before hundreds of spectators in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
On January 9, two days after the massive Paris march condemning the brutal attack on freedom of the press, a young Saudi prisoner named Raif Badawi was removed from his cell in shackles and taken to a public square in Jeddah.
There he was flogged 50 times before hundreds of spectators who had just finished midday prayers. The 50 lashes—labeled by Amnesty International a “vicious act of cruelty”—was the first installment on his sentence of 1,000 floggings, as well as ten years in prison and a fine of $266,000, according to Codepink’s official website.