Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

Trump’s new plan to Saudi Arabia


President Donald Trump’s administration wants to sell arms to Saudi Arabia again, one year after pushing through a controversial $8.1 billion contract despite congressional opposition, an influential US senator revealed on Wednesday. 

“The administration is currently trying to sell thousands more precision-guided bombs to the President’s ‘friend,’ Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez said in an op-ed published online by N.Rs.

The government wants to conclude the sale, the details of which have not yet been made public, “even though the Saudis seemingly want out of their failed and brutal war in Yemen,” he added. 

Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, recalled how the previous contract to sell various arms to Saudi Arabia as well as the United Arab Emirates was blocked by Congress after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

US intelligence services had concluded that the murder had been ordered by the crown prince, “a capricious Saudi despot who thinks he can butcher his critics without consequences,” Menendez wrote.

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When Congress blocked that sale last year, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo invoked an obscure “emergency” procedure to push it through. 

“Today, a year later, there is still no justification for the US to sell bombs to Saudi Arabia,” stated Menendez.

“That is why I am particularly troubled that the State Department has again refused to explain the need to sell thousands more bombs to Saudi Arabia on top of the thousands that have yet to be delivered from last year’s ’emergency,'” he continued.

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He called on Congress to block the new sale. 

Trump recently fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, who was reportedly investigating Pompeo’s conduct during the earlier deal.  


#Newsworthy…

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Jamal Khasoggi’s murder not personal – Saudi Arabia’s Activists.

Saudi activists say perpetrators in homicide cases cannot be pardoned and reaffirm Jamal Khashoggi’s case as political.


Many leading Saudi activists have stressed that slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder remains a political issue, despite alleged efforts by authorities in the kingdom to reduce it to a familial one.

Khashoggi, a well-known journalist in the Arab world who also wrote opinion pieces for The Washington Post, was killed in October 2018 after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents to marry his Turkish fiance. His body was dismembered and never recovered.

The remarks by the Saudi activists came after Khashoggi’s son Salah posted a brief statement on Twitter earlier on Friday, saying his family has pardoned those responsible for his father’s murder.

“In this blessed night of the blessed month [of Ramadan], we remember God’s saying: If a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah,” he posted.

“Therefore, we the sons of the Martyr Jamal Khashoggi announce that we pardon those who killed our father, seeking reward God almighty.”

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However, Khashoggi’s Turkish fiance, Hatice Cengiz, renounced the statement, saying “no one has the right to pardon the killers” and that she will not stop until justice is done.

“The murder of Jamal Khashoggi is not a family case, it is not a mistake in a normal context,” said Yahya Assiri, the head of the United Kingdom-based Saudi rights group, ALQST.

“The authorities killed him because of his political work,” Assiri said. “His case is political, so keep silent.”

تبرئة سعود القحطاني وأحمد عسيري في قضية الاغتيال الغادر للشهيد #جمال_خاشقجي رحمه الله هو حماية للدائرة الصغيرة للقتلة الحقيقين والتضحية بشخصيات لانعرف حتى اسماءها.

وحتى طلب القتل جاء بصيغة “القصاص” ليتيح لأولياء الدم (الذين تبتزهم نفس فرقة القتل الصغيرة) العفو!

@aalodah
د. عبدالله العودة

“We categorically reject the Saudi trial in the Khashoggi case and its resulting judgments,” said the statement.

“The trial is unfair, the Saudi judiciary is corrupt and not independent, and the main suspect in the case is the Saudi Crown Prince, who controls the conduct of the trials.”

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The signatories in the statement said they condemned Saudi authorities using the late journalist’s family members to “whitewash the country’s judiciary, … dwarfing Khashoggi’s case”.

It said Khashoggi’s family or some of its members did not have their full freedom to say what they wanted.

“[The] fact is that the issue does not concern Jamal Khashoggi’s family only, but rather is an issue of public opinion as Khashoggi was a political writer who criticised the political system and was killed for that.”

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Omaima al-Najjar, a Saudi activist, said it was imperative to continue pushing for Khashoggi’s case as one framed within freedom of speech. It would remain in the public eye for several reasons, she said.

“What we intend to do is continue to flag the case as a fight for freedom of speech and call for an independent transparent trial carried by international laws and not by Sharia laws that enable a murder case to escape penalty through a pardon or blood money,” al-Najjar said.

“There was never closure of the case since the body was never found,” she said. “The Turkish authorities are also still keeping records of the audio of the killing – which is described by the UN as chilling and graphic – that they could leak at any time.”

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Al-Najjar accused the Saudi authorities of trying to find ways to spare the lives of those who committed the crime.

“There have been ongoing trials of the case where international observers are allowed to attend but without translators. The trial has been a complete joke and I would describe it as a theatre.”

New details revealed on Khashoggi’s murder
‘Martyr for a cause’
Some activists also shared on social media a Saudi Supreme Court document from six years ago that said there can be no pardoning of perpetrators in homicide cases.

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Under the Islamic law followed by Saudi Arabia, death sentences could be commuted if the victim’s family pardons the perpetrator.

But activists argue this applies to cases of family disputes or personal grievances, and not in a political case like Khashoggi’s.

“The public prosecution’s framing of the punishment [of Khashoggi’s killers] as ‘retribution’ from the outset made it clear there was an intention to exonerate his murderers by way of a pardon from the family,” said Abdullah Alaoudh, a Saudi academic at Georgetown University.

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“Unfortunately, what happened was expected.”

Karen Attiah, editor at The Washington Post for which Khashoggi wrote columns, said his sons had “surrendered and allowed the murderers of their father to go free”.

“We the sons of the martyr, Jamal Khashoggi – That we have pardoned the killer of our father – God have mercy on his soul – for God’s sake, as we all seek and hope for God’s reward.”

Jamal’s sons have surrendered and allowed the murderers of their father to go free. No justice.

But Abdulaziz Almoayyad, a Saudi activist based in Dublin, said he disagreed with any backlash directed towards the Khashoggi family. NobleReporters learnt

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“It is immoral for the media to focus such attention on Khashoggi’s family, especially since it is clear they are being pressured by the fascist Saudi regime,” he said.

“They are in the lap of autocracy, and we have no right to criticise or judge what they say,” he added, calling Khashoggi a “martyr for a cause”.

‘Parody of justice’
On Friday, Agnes Callamard, the UN rapporteur for extrajudicial executions, said the “shocking” decision by Khashoggi’s sons to “forgive” their father’s killers was just another step in Saudi Arabia’s “parody of justice”.

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Callamard said the move was “the final act in [Saudi Arabia’s] well-rehearsed parody of justice in front of an international community far too ready to be deceived”.

“Act One was their pretence of an investigation,” she said, adding that the team Riyadh sent to help with the probe had in fact been ordered to “clean up the crime scene”, accusing it of “obstruction of justice”.

Nearly a month after Khashoggi’s killing, a report by the CIA concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) had issued orders to kill the Saudi dissident.

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In September 2019, the Saudi crown prince indicated that he assumed some personal responsibility for the crime since “it took place during his reign”.

Last December, the Saudi judiciary issued preliminary rulings in the case, according to which three prominent officials – Saud al-Qahtani, former adviser to MBS; Mohammed al-Otaibi, the Saudi consul in Istanbul; and Ahmed al-Asiri, the former deputy director of intelligence – were acquitted of the crime.

Around the same time, five people were sentenced to death and three others imprisoned for 24 years for the killing, with the prosecution not revealing the names of the convicts.

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The rulings were criticised by the international bodies as a “sham”, pointing that their purpose was for the kingdom to avoid holding the real perpetrators to account.

In the US, chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, said the rulings were a continuation of the kingdom’s efforts to distance Saudi leaders – including the crown prince – from the brutal assassination, adding that the crime was deliberate and not the result of a sudden decision or abnormal process.


#Newsworthy…

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Suspect kill Jamal Khashoggi – Son forgive killer.

Salah Khashoggi releases statement on Twitter as activists hit back saying murder case is not familial but political.


In the statement, posted on Friday, Salah Khashoggi said his family pardons those who took the reporter’s life in 2018 when he visited Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul.

“In this blessed night of the blessed month (of Ramadan) we remember God’s saying: If a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah.”

“Therefore, we the sons of the Martyr Jamal Khashoggi announce that we pardon those who killed our father, seeking reward God almighty” he added.

Khashoggi was last seen at the Saudi consulate where he had gone to get the necessary documents for his wedding. His body was dismembered and removed from the building and his remains have not been found.

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Under Islamic law, death sentences in Saudi Arabia can be commuted if the victim’s family pardons the perpetrator, but it is not clear whether that will happen in this case.

Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiance, wrote on Twitter on Friday that “nobody has the right to pardon the killers”.

“The murder of Jamal Khashoggi is not a family case, it is not a mistake in a normal context!” he wrote on Twitter, saying Khashoggi’s murder was not due to a personal disagreement.

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“The authorities killed him because of his political work,” Assiri said. “His case is political, so keep silent!”

Assiri shared a statement signed by dozens of other Saudi activists and politicians, refuting what they called the repackaging of Khashoggi’s murder by the Saudi authorities into a familial one.

“We reject the use of Saudi authorities of some of Khashoggi’s family members to whitewash the country’s judiciary and dwarfing Khashoggi’s case,” the statement said, adding that Khashoggi’s family or at least some members of it do not have their full freedom to say what they want.

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“Secondly, and more importantly, the fact is that the issue does not concern Jamal Khashoggi’s family only, but rather is an issue of public opinion as Khashoggi was a political writer who criticised the political system and was killed for that.”

Saudi officials say he had no role, although in September 2019 MBS indicated some personal accountability, saying the grisly killing “happened under my watch”.

Saudi Arabia sentenced five people to death and three to jail over Khashoggi’s murder last December. The suspects were put on trial in secretive proceedings in the capital Riyadh.

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The trials were condemned by the United Nations and rights groups. UN Special Rapporteur for extrajudicial summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard accused Saudi Arabia of making a “mockery” of justice by allowing the masterminds of the 2018 killing to go free.

However, Salah Khashoggi said of the December verdict: “It has been fair to us and that justice has been achieved.”


#Newsworthy…

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Minor Criminals to escape death sentence in Saudi Arabia.

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Saudi Arabia has abolished the death sentence on individuals who committed crimes while still minors, the latest in a series of reforms pushed forward by the Saudi royal family.

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The latest development was disclosed by the state-backed Human Rights Commission (HRC) in a statement, citing a royal decree by King Salman, on Sunday.

This is coming a day after abolished flogging as a punishment, in the country’s Supreme Court announcement on Saturday.

In its latest annual report earlier this month, Amnesty International rated Saudi Arabia as one of the world’s biggest executioners after Iran and China.

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“The decree means that any individuals who received a death sentence for crimes committed while he or she is a minor can no longer face execution.

“Instead, the individual will receive a prison sentence of no longer than 10 years in a juvenile detention facility,” HRC President Awwad Alawwad said in the statement on Sunday, according to gatherings by NobleReporters.

“This is an important day for Saudi Arabia.

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“The decree helps us in establishing a more modern penal code, and demonstrates the kingdom’s commitment to following through on key reforms across all sectors of our country,” Alawwad said.

According to Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia executed 184 people in 2019 and these people included at least one person charged with a crime committed as a minor.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Cases in Tunisia exceed 900.


>>> Saudi Arabia ends flogging as punishment <<<


Saudi Arabia has ended the archaic punishment of flogging convicts, according to a directive by the General Commission for the Supreme Court.

Alarabiya.net reported that the courts will now limit punishments to jail time or fines.

The elimination of flogging is the latest step taken by the Kingdom to modernise the judicial system.

Under Sharia, flogging falls under the category of Tazir, punishment dispensed for offences not specified in the Quran or Hadith.


>>> Tunisia’s COVID-19 cases reach 922 <<<


The Tunisian Ministry of Health reported 4 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of the infected to 922 in the country.

“Following a total of 438 lab tests, 34 cases tested positive, of which four were new cases and 30 were previously confirmed cases who were still infected with this virus,” said the ministry in a statement on Friday night.

A total of 194 patients have recovered in Tunisia while 38 deaths were reported in 13 provinces, according to the statement.

“The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients reached 110, including 20 patients in intensive care units,” it said.

According to official figures, a total of 19,849 lab tests have been carried out since March 2, the date of the first COVID-19 case in Tunisia.


>>> 545 total COVID-19 cases in ‘Senegal’ <<<


Senegalese Ministry of Health and Social Action, on Friday reported 66 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 545 in the country.

Among the 528 virological examinations carried out within the past 24 hours, 66 came back positive, including 61 follow-up contact cases and five cases of community transmission, Senegalese health minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr announced during the daily COVID-19 briefing.

According to him, five more patients tested negative after treatments, bringing the total number of cured to 262. But he also said there is one patient “in critical condition”.

Of the 545 confirmed cases, 400 are close contacts cases, 85 are imported ones and 60 are due to community transmission. Six patients have lost their lives to COVID-19.

Minister Sarr revealed vendors are among the most exposed to COVID-19 in Senegal, and insisted on mandatory wearing of masks in markets and other public places.

“In the context of case detection, I asked my services to considerably increase the number of samples taken per day, in order to allow the identification of a maximum of asymptomatic carriers”, he added.


#Newsworthy…

Oil price war: Can Saudi Arabia really begin this war.


It was the last thing a slowing global economy needed.

With the coronavirus pandemic hammering international travel, supply chains and production, Saudi Arabia delivered another shock to the system by declaring an oil price war.

On March 6, having failed to convince Russia to agree to deep production cuts aimed at shoring up crude prices against the demand destruction unleashed by coronavirus, Saudi Arabia-led OPEC retaliated by announcing it would start pumping crude with abandon.

The next day, the kingdom lowered the price it charges for oil. Come March 9, the markets delivered their verdict. Oil prices crashed 30 percent at one point – the biggest one-day drop since the 1991 Gulf War.

Though some of those losses were pared, announcements of pending production boosts next month by the kingdom and other Gulf producers ensured oil prices had their worst week since the 2008 financial crisis.

The price war is a gamble for the kingdom, one that could either pay off or land it in a deep hole.

Dramatically lower oil prices set up Saudi Arabia, which can produce oil more cheaply than any other country, to steal market share: both from the world’s second-biggest oil producer-Russia-as well as higher-cost United States shale oil producers.

But analysts say it could come at a cost to Saudi Arabia and the ambitious plan of its de facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), to break the kingdom’s oil-dependence and set it up for a more prosperous future.

A transformation in trouble
Crude accounts for roughly 80 percent of Saudi Arabia’s revenues, and that level of fossil fuel dependence comes with huge drawbacks.

As oil prices rise and fall, so too do the kingdom’s fortunes, which can stall plans and force tough spending choices.

The future is also moving against oil, with the Paris Climate Agreement spurring more governments to reduce emissions and petroleum products like plastic raising environmental alarms.

The kingdom needs to diversify its economy, and soonest. But that is easier said than done. Overdependence on any commodity for export effectively salts the earth where other productive sectors could take root.

Vision 2030 seeks to spring the kingdom from this trap by reinvesting fossil fuel wealth into sustainable industries of the future, shrinking a bloated state sector, and creating a thriving, diversified private sector to employ the kingdom’s youthful workforce.

And the government does not see itself doing all of this alone. A successful transformation also hinges on convincing investors, both foreign and domestic, to buy into MBS’s vision.

On many counts though, the blueprint for transformation was struggling even before Riyadh fell out with Moscow.

“Vision 2030 was already lagging on most of its interim targets for 2020,” Laura James, senior Middle East analyst at Oxford Analytica, NobleReporters

A cornerstone of raising cash to reinvest into other sectors was the much-hyped initial public offering (IPO) of Saudi state oil giant Aramco.

As it neared its delayed debut late last year on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange, an attack on Aramco’s facilities in September reminded investors of the geopolitical risk festooning the company and its operations.

After failing to attract sufficient international interest, MBS pressured wealthy Saudis to step up and buy a piece of the company. The IPO raised a record $29.4bn, effectively valuing the firm at $1.7 trillion- well shy of the $2 trillion MBS had originally sought.

Now, the oil price war is hammering shares of Saudi Arabian Oil Co -as Aramco is officially known.

The stock fell 12 percent last week and continued to slide on Sunday, after Aramco announced it is cutting capital spending this year in response to coronavirus, and reported a 21 percent decline in 2019 net profits due to lower oil prices.

On Monday, Aramco is due to hold a webcast to discuss its full-year results. Company executives could be grilled over whether pumping crude full-throttle is in the best interests shareholders.

Another Vision 2030 metric – foreign direct investment (FDI) in the kingdom- has also been lacklustre. Though it recovered to $3.2bn in 2018 having not even cracked $2bn the previous year, FDI was still way down from the $8.1bn achieved in 2015 and a mere fraction of the $29.2bn the kingdom attracted in 2010, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Growth in the kingdom’s non-oil private sector is another benchmark. It was looking promising, until it started slowing in December and continued to decelerate in January. February saw the slowest growth in two years, as output and new orders fell, thanks to disruptions spawned by the coronavirus.

Now, the fiscal stress of an oil price war could make non-oil sector growth even harder to achieve.

Austerity on tap
The kingdom has healthy foreign exchange reserves, roughly $500bn, to ride out a price war, and it does enjoy the lowest production costs among all oil producers.

The Saudis “can still turn-out a profit at these low oil prices, at least for a time,” Tarik Yousef, director at Brookings Doha Center, a nonprofit public policy organization, told Al Jazeera.

Balancing its budget, however, is another story.

The International Monetary Fund reckons the kingdom needs oil to fetch around $83 a barrel to balance its state budget.

Global benchmark Brent crude last traded at $33.84 a barrel on Friday.

Goldman Sachs reckons that should oil prices average $30 a barrel over the next two quarters and the kingdom boosts output by 10 percent, its budget deficit could swell to 12 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year -nearly double its fiscal deficit target.

That would increase the government’s financing requirement by $36bn.

There could be a silver lining. Goldman estimates that if oil prices recover to $60 a barrel by the end of 2021, the kingdom’s budget deficit could narrow to less than 2 percent of GDP by 2022.

But if oil prices only recover to $50 a barrel by the end of next year, Goldman sees the budget deficit remaining “wider for longer, implying an additional $63bn in funding requirements” over the next two years.

More drama
Austerity measures may have been in the cards before the kingdom declared a price war, as Riyadh prepared for slowing oil demand in the face of coronavirus.

State agencies were asked to submit proposals for slashing 20 to 30 percent from their 2020 budgets before the kingdom fell out with Russia, Reuters News Agency reported, citing sources. One source said salaries would not be touched, but projects and the awarding of new contracts could be delayed.

“With salaries largely protected, the impact could be on capital expenditure, which will have a knock-on impact on the private sector and likely hinder diversification efforts,” said James.

Shielding salaries helps maintain loyalty, which is important for any ruler, especially one surrounded by intrigue.

The price war was not the only Saudi drama unfolding while the alliance between OPEC and Russia was collapsing.

Two of the royal family’s most influential members, Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz, the youngest brother of King Salman, and Mohammed bin Nayef, the former crown prince and interior minister, were reportedly being detained in Riyadh. Both men are seen as legitimate contenders for the throne, sparking speculation that at the very least, MBS was making a move to consolidate his power.

The price war “threatens stability at a time where MBS is already facing political pressure and possibly threats from within the royal family as evidenced by the recent arrests,” said Yousef.

Which makes pulling off an economic transformation like Vision 2030 that much harder, say analysts.

“It’s tougher for oil-dependent countries that need higher prices to fund their budgets,” Jim Krane, Wallace S Wilson Fellow in Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy said. NobleReporters learnt

“If they cut spending too much, they could have a rebellion on their hands. Saudi Arabia is vulnerable in this respect.”


#Newsworthy…

S’Arabia set to bid £400m to host Fury’s next match with Deontay or Joshua


Saudi Arabia’s royal family are set to bid an outrageous £400m to host Tyson Fury’s next fight after members of the Royal Family were ringside in Las Vegas to watch the Gypsy King’s ruthless win over Deontay Wilder at the weekend.

Fury defeated Wilder on Sunday morning to claim the WBC Heavyweight belt and Wilder confirmed on Tuesday that he will re-activate his rematch clause in their contract within the next 28 days but fans are clamoring for a fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua to determine the undisputed Heavyweight champion of the world.


Saudi Arabia to bid ?400m to host Tyson Fury?s next fight against Wilder or Joshua

A fight between Joshua and Fury will be an automatic sell out in the UK as both fighters are British, but the Saudi Royal family plan to bid 400 million pounds for Fury’s next fight seeing how much success they achieved with Joshua vs Ruiz in Riyadh last December.


”Fury has revealed that he will take on Anthony Joshua if the Bronze Bomber does not want a third fight.”Whoever the new WBC heavyweight champion takes on next, the Saudi Arabians want it to take place on their turf.”


Saudi Arabia to bid ?400m to host Tyson Fury?s next fight against Wilder or Joshua

”Prince Khaled was one of the Saudi royal family members in attendance at the MGM Grand on Saturday night.” The 41-year-old has been ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to bring major sporting events to their country.”


Fury’s promoter Frank Warren refused to rule out the possibility of Fury taking on AJ in Saudi Arabia.

He said: “In a dreamscape it should be in London, but they’re professional athletes. These guys have short careers, they go where the money is.

“I don’t know where it’s going to take place. Wherever the most money comes from.

“It’s the boxers who get in the ring and they’ll make the choices.”


#NobleSport

Saudi teen called out for wearing bikini in Canada


A young woman from Saudi Arabia who fled to Canada, has been abused and shamed after she shared before and now photos to celebrate her freedom from “being forced to wear black sheets”.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun moved to Canada following her escape from Saudi Arabia (read here). Afterwards, she went online to share an old image of herself in a niqab and another where she was wearing a bikini.

She captioned the photo: “The biggest change in my life.. from being forced to wear black sheets and being controlled by men to being a free woman.”


Her post earned her criticisms from Twitter users in her native country. They called her out for making herself “naked.”

One Twitter user said: “I really feel sad for people like you, Saudi woman are living in happiness, they are living a normal live they drive, go malls and now they travel alone, plus our prophet Muhammad said that women and men are equal.”


Another said: “I was checking her previous posts and got to know that she literally got all this fame because she threw hijab away and started clothing like in the second picture.”

Qunun fled Saudi Arabia in January 2019 and barricaded herself in her hotel, saying she was escaping abuse from her family. She escaped her family while they were visiting Kuwait then flew to Bangkok. She was denied entry by immigration police and her passport was seized. She then took her case to social media, sparking the hashtag #SaveRahaf, and posted video of herself using a table to block the door to her hotel room.

She also renounced Islam and declared herself an atheist, saying: “Physical, emotional and verbal abuse and being imprisoned inside the house for months. They threaten to kill me and prevent me from continuing my education. They won’t let me drive or travel. I am oppressed. I love life and work and I am very ambitious but my family is preventing me from living.”

As a result of her campaign, she was given UN protection and she chose to fly to Canada after being granted asylum there.


#Newsworthy…

See why Anthony Joshua may lose his IBF belt


Anthony Joshua has been given until the end of the month by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) to agree on terms to fight mandatory challenger, Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev.

The British Nigerian boxer had recently reclaimed his titles in his rematch against Andy Ruiz Jnr. in Saudi Arabia in December 2019.

In a statement, an IBF spokesperson told Sky Sports: ‘I have just been told that the Pulev and Joshua camps have asked until January 31 to negotiate.’

If he fails to agree on conditions for a fight he could lose the belt.

Joshua will also have to face Oleksandr Usyk, as he is the mandatory challenger to his WBO title before June 4th. But if he does not agree to meet the Ukrainian former cruiserweight king before then, he will be forced to vacate his belt.


#NobleSport

Bunch of Hypocrites: Arewa shade Saudi Arabia for banning early marriages.

A number of Twitter users from Northern Nigeria have expressed outrage after the Saudi Ministry of Justice announced the prohibition of marriage of persons under 18 years.

Saudi Arabia set 18 years as the minimum age for marriage, the Saudi Gazette reports.

This development angered some Muslims from northern Nigeria and they condemned this move.

(Read first story here)

Twitter user @AY_Zarewa said this move will increase fornication among young people and he warned that such laws should not be brought to Nigeria. He also prayed that the law banning underage marriage in Saudi will be reversed.

He tweeted:

Saudi Arabia decision to ban under 18 marriage is totally wrong. What for?

The world is coming to an end if Muslim countries will finalize terrible decision like this.

Not Only Arewa Twitter, alot of Saudi based Scholars will go against it.
The decision will be reversed ISA.

He added: “

Marriage has been copacetic for centuries. It’s your choice to marry 16 year old girl, 17+ ….. or 50 as you wish. Idk where all these infructuous rules are been derived from?

“This nonsense wouldn’t come to Nigeria by God grace.

“These mischievous people propagating the attrition of marriage based on religious rules will never succeed.

“This is a direct pander to teenagers. Setting up these rules will only increase fornication among teenagers. It’s okay for them to have sex with 16,17 girls but its prohibited for them to get married. Lol.

“Bunch of demented Hypocrites.”

Arewa Twitter users call out Saudi Arabia for banning marriage of persons under 18 years

Arewa Twitter users call out Saudi Arabia for banning marriage of persons under 18 years

#Newsworthy….

Under 18 marriages ban by Saudi Arabia’s government.

Saudi Arabia through its Ministry of Justice on Monday December 23 issued a de facto ban on child marriages, setting the minimum age for marriage at 18.

In a circular issued by the country’s Minister of Justice and Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council Sheikh Dr. Walid Al-Samaani, all courts in the country were directed to refer the marriage application of anyone under 18 to a special court to make sure that “marrying those below 18-years old will not harm them and will achieve their best interest, whether they are male or female”.

The new order which is one of the social reform initiated since Mohammad Bin Salman became crown prince two years ago, came after an amendment to the Kingdom’s Child Protection Law was passed by the Shoura Council in January 2019.

Recall also that King Salman signed a decree permitting women to travel or obtain a passport without the permission of male guardians in October 2019. The decree did away with the need for permission of a guardian to marry, apply for a passport and leave the country. In the same month, women were allowed to join the armed forces.

The amendments also granted women the right to register the birth of a child, a marriage or a divorce, and to be issued official family documents and be eligible as a guardian to children who are minors. In January 2019, Saudi authorities stipulated that women must be paid equally to men.

#Newsworthy…

Jamal Khashoggi’s death: Corruption in Saudi Arabia as Crown prince declared unguilty.

Human Rights Groups and Turkey have come out to slam a verdict by a Saudi High court absolving crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman of any wrong doing in the 2018 murder of Wasshington post journalist and fierce MBS critic, Jamal Khashoggi.

The Crown Prince’s right hand man, Saud al-Qahtani, widely regarded as the mastermind of the operation was also cleared by the court of all involvement on Monday, according to a government organized news conference in the State capital, Riyadh.

(Read first story here)

Prosecutors said there would be no charges brought against him because “no evidence” existed.

At the time of Khashoggi’s brutal murder Qahtani was Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s senior adviser, so clearing him of wrong doing automatically clears MBS of wrong doing because he was Bin Salman’s right hand man.

Rights groups decry Saudi court verdict on Jamal Khashoggi murder after 5 people are sentenced to death, but Saudi Crown Prince is cleared of any wrong doing?

“The investigation showed that the killing was not premeditated … The decision was taken at the spur of the moment,” Saudi Deputy Public Prosecutor Shalaan al-Shalaan said, a verdict contradicting the findings of a United Nations and United States-led investigation that found that Mohammed Bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia gave the order for the journalist’s killing.

Khashoggi, was killed inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul by a team of Saudi agents when he went to process documents for his planned marriage. He never left the consulate alive as he was drugged and dismembered inside before his remains were deposited in a yet to be found place.

The US CIA, Turkey, the UN, the EU all accused the Saudi Arabian government headed by Mohammed Bin Salman of being behind the gruesome murder, and after weeks of denail, Saudi Arabia later accepted they had carried out the murder.

The Saudi authorities said it was the result of a “rogue operation” and put 11 unnamed individuals on trial, but denied MBS was aware of the operation.

The Saudi prosecutor’s office on Monday said a total of 31 people were investigated in connection with the killing, and that 11 people were charged. Three were handed jail terms totalling 24 years and the rest were acquitted. None of the defendants’ names was immediately released by the court.

Ahmed Benchemsi, spokesman for Human Rights Watch, told Al Jazeera that the trial was “all but satisfactory”.

The case was “shrouded in secrecy since the beginning, and it’s still … until now … We do not know the identities of those masked perpetrators, we don’t know the specific charge levelled against who exactly,” Benchemsi said.

“Saudi prosecutors did not even attempt to investigate the upper levels of this crime, and whether they played a role in ordering the killing, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” he added.

Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on summary executions, said the sentence “is anything but justice”.

“Under international human rights law, the killing of Khashoggi was an extrajudicial execution for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible,” she wrote on Twitter.

“Bottom line: the hit-men are guilty, sentenced to death. The masterminds not only walk free. They have barely been touched by the investigation and the trial. That is the antithesis of Justice. It is a mockery,” said Callamard, who does not speak for the UN but reports her findings to it.

Christophe Deloire, the Secretary General of Paris-based media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders said that the sentences “can be interpreted as a means to permanently silence the suspects, a way to prevent them from speaking to better cover up the truth”.

“The opacity of the procedure and the concealment of evidence does not allow us to get an idea” of why several others were convicted or acquitted, said Deloire, adding: “We still expect a full accounting.”

Turkey, responding to the verdict said those responsible for the murder had been granted immunity.

“Those who dispatched a death squad to Istanbul on a private jet … and sought to sweep this murder under the rug have been granted immunity,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s top press aide, Fahrettin Altun, wrote on Twitter.

#Newsworthy…

5 suspected Jamal Khashoggi killers sentenced to death.

Five persons were on Monday sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for the murder of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, the country’s public prosecutor said.

Another three persons were also sentenced to a total of 24 years in jail.

The US resident and critic of Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2018 after trying to pick up a marriage document for he and his Turkish fiancé.

After weeks of repeated denials that it had anything to do with his disappearance, the kingdom eventually acknowledged that its officials were behind the gruesome murder.

Meanwhile, the United States on Monday welcomed the death sentences handed down to the killers of journalist.

“Today’s verdicts were an important step in holding those responsible for this terrible crime accountable,” a State Department official told reporters after the ruling, which was lambasted as a travesty by Turkey, rights groups, and The Washington Post, to which Khashoggi contributed.

The court however, exonerated two top aides to Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince, whom the US considers responsible for Khashoggi’s murder.

#Newsworthy…