A brief look at human rights violations (part...
Human rights in Saudi Arabia are a topic of concern. The government of Saudi Arabia is responsible for human rights violations occurred directly by its officials and institutions. Saudi Arabia’s continued violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the deteriorating situation in the kingdom through its sustained campaign of human rights suppression casts serious doubts on the Saudi government’s commitment to reform. In this report we took a brief look at human rights violations in the country for the during last months.
1- In January 2022, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia began a massive eviction of the residents of several neighborhoods in the city of Jeddah. Despite the intimidation practiced by the Saudi government against the population, the lack of any role for civil society and the prevention of expression of opinion, follow-ups confirmed that the evictions contained numerous violations of international and local laws.
Activists on social media posted clips and photos showing the violations involved in the eviction process, including giving short deadlines that sometimes do not exceed 48 hours, which may lead to the displacement of some families. The operation also aims to remove cultural, religious and social landmarks, as activists indicated on social media that the demolitions also included the demolition of mosques, schools and hospitals.
In December 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the general plan and main features of the “Downtown Jeddah” project. This will replace the neighborhoods with four major global landmarks, “an opera house, a museum, a sports stadium, ocean basins and coral farms,” in addition to 10 quality entertainment and tourism projects.
According to the figures, 200,000 homes, in which nearly one million people live, who make up a quarter of the population of Jeddah, have been affected by the evictions. The European Saudi Organization for Human Rights believes that the Saudi government is constantly using a policy of forced eviction, without complying with international principles and laws, and in a manner that directly affects the population and its basic rights.
ESOHR believes the measures taken by the Saudi government violated local regulations, including the system of expropriation for the public benefit. In addition, Saudi Arabia has violated international laws, especially the basic principles and guidelines related to evictions and deportations in the interest of development, which were published by the rapporteur on housing.
2- According to Salam for Democracy and Human Rights, the death penalty against two Bahraini citizens in Saudi Arabia is arbitrary and a violation of the application of local law. It is an arbitrary contravention of the application of Saudi domestic laws, specifically laws designed to combat terrorism and its financing, along with explosives and fireworks regulations, in terms of verifying the elements of the crime and assessing the penalty.
The two men were arrested in 2015 and the Public Prosecution applied 7 charges against them, 6 of which had occurred inside Bahrain. In 2021, the Saudi Arabian Specialized Criminal Court sentenced them to death. The ruling was based on insufficient evidence and the alleged statements of both men, which they refuted before the court as having been coerced. On January 11, 2022, the Court of Appeals upheld the death sentences, and the men were left with only one month to appeal the ruling before the ultimate decision of the Saudi Supreme Court.
3- According to ALQST, there is mounting evidence of a deliberate campaign by the Saudi authorities to jeopardise the safety, health and even lives of certain prisoners of conscience, through medical neglect and reckless manipulation, in addition to constant harassment and denial of family visits.
After two high-profile deaths in custody in recent memory – the death by medical neglect of Abdullah al-Hamid in April 2020 and the murder of Musa al-Qarni, apparently by religious extremists, in October 2021, as well as the mysterious deaths of Zaheer Shareeda in May 2021 and Saleh al-Shehi, shortly after his unexpected release, in July 2020 – ALQST is now gravely concerned for several others who are apparently being treated in the same way.
One of them is Dr Mohammed al-Qahtani, one of the founders of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), who has repeatedly been denied access to medication that he needs (eye drops and vitamins), causing him to have dry eyes. The prison administration has also neglected to provide treatment for a skin disease he suffers from. He has also been taken repeatedly to the prison hospital for tests, but every time he gets there he is sent back to the prison on the grounds that there are no appointments available. He has previously reported a number of incidents where his safety was compromised and his life was threatened, such as when a fire was started on the wing, or when the prison administration deliberately placed him among inmates infected with coronavirus.