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Saudi Female Activist Al-Hathloul’s Torture Is One of Countless Cases


[Dr. Saad Al-Fageeh]: We have to comment on the Loujain Al-Hathloul case in regard to the article that was published by her sister in New York Times. It’s a long article in which she detailed what happened to her. In fact, the position taken by her sister is a bold one, which had to take place, whether now or before. She wrote that she had no other option left. There’s a common belief that people has, which is that it would be better for the detainee to keep silent and not speak up so that they won’t suffer repercussions. That’s not true at all. There is no detainee that has suffered repercussions because of their relatives speaking out. On the contrary, most of the detainees have benefited from that, even if it meant being subjected to less torture, or they’re allowed visits. Most of the detainees have benefited from their relatives speaking out. This is the first point.

It’s good that this case gained public attention, and people were informed accurately of the type of sexual harassment that Loujain Al-Hathloul was being subjected to, as well as her being electrocuted, and humiliation and degradation. Even though Loujain Al-Hathloul is not known for being a religious person, but she herself was shocked by the fact that they (her torturers) were eating during daytime in Ramadan, and she called them out for doing so, and their reply was that, “Even Allah is not above us.” “We’re above everyone else, and even Allah is not above us.” “No one is above us (in authority), not even Allah.” This ordeal exposed what really takes place in (Saudi) prisons.

But, this opportunity to get to know what happened to Loujain, who is a popular figure, if that’s what she was subjected to, and she’s someone who has the attention of human rights organizations and her case is being monitored closely by them, what kind of treatment is being meted out to the rest of the detainees who do not enjoy the same popularity. If that’s what is happening to Loujain, what’s happening to the other sisters whose cases are not being monitored by human rights organizations? When we follow this case, we do care for what happened to Loujain, but at the same time, we try to imagine the plight of others at the hands of these criminals, the enemies of the Ummah, and the enemies of the nation.

This is the truth. These people are the enemies of the country. The enemies of Islam, the enemies of the people, the enemies of the nation. These are criminals who are worse than occupiers. At least, some occupiers show respect for the country’s culture and people’s rights, and they have some sense of the rule of law. These people who are currently occupying your country are worse than occupiers. In the name of Islam, regulations, laws and authority, they steal your property, and violate your dignity, and violate your loved ones, and deny all your rights. So, this is the message that we should take away from reading Loujain Al-Hathloul’s ordeal.

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