Spreading Chaos, Instability under Civil Society Guise

Spreading Chaos, Instability under Civil Society Guise

Tuesday, 7 August, 2018 - 06:15
A general view of the Saudi capital Riyadh. (AP)
Riyadh - Asharq Al-Awsat
They identify themselves as “civil society activists.” They communicate with various rights organizations from around the world. They work under the guise of human rights, while in fact they are stoking strife among the civilians, inciting them to wage campaigns that “demand rights.”

They are present in society in order to gain popular support, while they are covertly trying to drive a wedge between the people and obstruct the nation’s development. Some call for popular demonstrations and offer false information to foreign powers. Others seek to establish organizations that are dedicated to spreading chaos and reaching power.

The rallying of support behind them will not, however, grant them immunity as Saudi authorities have asserted.

Some rights organizations that are based in European and North American countries make it a point to directly communicate with so-called “civil society activists” to secretly obtain misleading information about the developments in the Kingdom.

These organizations then base their reports on this false information and distribute them the world over without even consulting the concerned human rights body in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi human rights commission is directly overseen by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and it aims to protect and bolster human rights according to international standards. It also aims to raise awareness about these rights and ensure their sound application according to Islamic Sharia laws.

The Canadian foreign ministry and envoy in Saudi Arabia have urged Riyadh to immediately release individuals it described as civil society activists, who were arrested in the Kingdom. This strange negative stance from Canada was a false charge. It is also blatant meddling in Saudi internal affairs and a violation of the most basic international norms and treaties that manage relations between nations.

Asharq Al-Awsat obtained information from trusted sources that said that the detainees were arrested over their communication with foreign organizations and countries that are hostile to Saudi Arabia. These powers recently sought to lure several women through the internet.

The sources said that Saudi authorities were investigating all information linked to the detainees. All legal methods are being adopted. They were arrested after being summoned for investigation. They were interrogated by the state general prosecution, whose jurisdiction is directly linked to King Salman. The period of their detention hinges on the number of detainees and if they were found to be connected to other individuals, who have not been arrested.

After charges are laid against them, court hearings involving the prosecution and the suspects will be held in the presence of the media and the human rights commission in Saudi Arabia, added the sources. The Saudi justice ministry allows European, British and American embassy representatives to be present at the proceedings should the detainees request it.

The suspects will enjoy all of their rights throughout the investigation and trial periods.

Saudi state security had announced in May that it had detected coordinated actions by a group of people, who carried out organized actions that violated religious and national principles. They also communicated with suspicious external forces to support their work. In addition, they recruited individuals occupying sensitive public positions for their cause. All this was aimed at undermining the security and stability of Saudi Arabia, its civil peace and national unity, in violation of the Kingdom’s laws.

Asharq Al-Awsat investigated several indictments that were directed against individuals, who sought to create division in society. These figures are now serving 30-year sentences and are barred from traveling for another 30 years after they are released from jail. They were indicted for forming an organization that is hostile to the Kingdom in order to stoke chaos and reach positions of power. They recruited their accomplices under the pretext of freedom, reform and democracy and doubting religious scholars and the judiciary.

In another case, Saudi suspects were charged with 10 to 11 years in prison for forming an unlicensed organization, called Hasm. It was aimed at fueling strife and division among the people, obstructing development and calling for demonstrations. This would have granted enemies of the state abroad to attack the Kingdom. These figures also gave foreign sides false information and their organization issued anti-state statements in order to stir strife. These statements were released on the organization’s website by individuals residing outside of the Kingdom given that access to the website was barred in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi security authorities have taken preemptive measures against suspects seeking to carry out any activity aimed at undermining Saudi Arabia’s security from hostile countries. They stress that anyone promoting radical right- or left-wing ideology will get their punishment. The state has long warned against being lured or deceived by fraudulent human rights slogans issued by sides that are in constant contact with hostile media and suspicious foreign sides.

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