The Saudi Noose:
Where Mohamed has the last word
Saudi Noose: Justice will fall upon his neck,
that, SN and the House of Saud, assure you
This lawsuit will gain as much speed in the Saudi court system, as a ball of glue rolling down a sand dune. One can only wonder why Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch (the latter was on a fund raising junket in the Kingdom last year) are not activating major campaigns to get this man and his situation more publicity. Here at the Tundra Tabloids, we raise these issues, because for one, it’s the right thing to do, as well as causing the Saudis much pain and embarrassment. KGS
More than three years after he was arrested on vague allegations, Saudi political detainee Suliman al-Reshoudi who has yet to be tried or even charged with a crime is now taking on the system.
Although his situation is not unusual for political prisoners in Saudi Arabia, the former judge is suing the security police and interior ministry to either charge him or release him.
It is a remarkable challenge and the first case of its kind in the kingdom.
The lawsuit, filed by activists on his behalf and led by a lawyer who can not meet his client, is based on a little-tested legal code which offers protection to detainees for the first time.
It did not exist when Reshoudi was jailed along with dozens of others for pro-reform activities, but now has become a test of the Saudi government’s avowal to improve its judicial system and boost human rights.
“We are defending Reshoudi as a model for others in prison,” said Mohammed al-Qahtani, a member of the small Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) which has organised his defence.
In six hearings since December, the interior ministry which has historically exercised a strong influence over the justice system has failed to have the suit thrown out.
Reshoudi’s lawyer, Abdulaziz al-Wahabi, sees that as a measure of success even if his client remains in jail without charge.
Moreover, despite what one supporter called a “menacing heavy police presence” at the last hearing, the judge allowed Saudi human rights observers to attend.
“This is the first case of people publicly challenging the interior ministry in their own courts,” said Qahtani, an economist in a government think-tank.