fierce repression and human rights violations

“We have not had Lujain news since October 26, “he explains Lina al Hazlul, the jailed activist’s sister, “when my parents visited her that day, she told them she was losing hope and that he was starting a hunger strike“The story of Lujain al Hazlul is that of any activist in Saudi Arabia. Despite the recent opening of the regime with some reforms, the seal of the crown prince’s monarchy Mohammed Bin Salman (known by its acronym, MBS) still his fierce repression, the human rights violations and the imprisonment of activists. its impunity is reinforced this weekend with the celebration of G-20 in Saudi Arabia.

The main world economic and political summit has in the empowerment of women one of its main lines of discussion. “Since taking over the G20 presidency, Saudi Arabia has invested heavily in renew your image, but the true change agents in the country are in the jail“, has defended Lynn Maalouf, Deputy Regional Director of International Amnesty for the Middle East and North Africa.

One of them is Lujain al Hazlul. Tireless fighter for him women’s right to drive, defended the end of the male guardianship that prevails over the female population of the Wahhabi kingdom. At 2018, weeks before the lifting of the driving ban, many women’s rights activists were arrested and jailed. Charged with charges far removed from their activism, these women were tortured and sexually assaulted. Despite the release of some of them, five are still in prison, according Human Rights Watch.

‘Sportswashing’

“After three years of arbitrary incarceration of activists, I think the strategy must change “, defends Lina al Hazlul from Paris.” We must take advantage of this summit where Saudi Arabia will be in the spotlight for a few days to say things publiclyBut this tactic has already been used by activists in the diaspora to demand changes in the country that exiles them. Especially during big sporting events, of which Saudi Arabia has used to wash its image through ‘sportswahing’.

From the Spanish Soccer Super Cup to great prizes of Formula 1 have been overshadowed by the repression of activists and the marginalization of women in the Gulf theocracy. But nothing threatens the power of the monarchy oil company, ruled harshly by the crown prince. Although the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 scandalized the world, two years later, MBS has not done To be accountable to the high-level officials implicated in his death and dismemberment.

In 2017, the appointment of MBS as de facto ruler of the kingdom at his early 33 years rejuvenated the image of the Saudi theocracy, giving it certain airs of modernity Y reformism that, to this day, remain to be seen. Within the framework of Vision 2030, the crown prince has promoted a series of reforms that aim to modernize the country. And although there have been advances in terms of recognition of rights especially for women, its main drivers continue to be victims of enforced disappearances, torture and unjustified jail sentences.

Screams into the void

His human rights violations have gone as far as Yemen, where for five years, the Saudi coalition bombard the civilian population. The famine caused by the war could cause the death of 13 million from Yemenis. In his attempt to show his humanitarian side, the kingdom announced the elimination of the death penalty for minors and the withdrawal of certain limitations abusive for foreign workers in the country under the kafala system.

“The G20 countries can Make a Difference and play an important role in convincing Saudi Arabia to stop its human rights abuses, “he insisted Michael Page, HRW deputy director for the Middle East. Orphan of Trump’s support, MBS is immersed in a new international scene led by a less permissive Joe Biden. Even though the wahhabi leader does not fear an international community that has been selling him weapons to attack Yemen. And so, from the Arabian peninsula, the cries of activists and oppressed less and less are heard.

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