Saudi Justice: Jail, Death, or Fight Assad in Syria

Among the crimes of the Saudi-British empire that the Obama Administration is covering up, are charges that the Saudi Arabia government’s court system is directly involved in forcing young Saudis to go fight in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, or else they will be punished—even with execution by beheading or even crucifixion, according to reports in the London Guardian and Salon. On March 15, National Public Radio and Salon magazine reported that Professor Mohammad Fahd al Qahtani, a human rights activist and economics professor at the Institute of Diplomatic Studies in Riyadh, charged that the Saudi “government seeks to diffuse domestic pressure by recruiting young kids to join in another proxy war in the region.”

Salon reported that “In one documented case, a Saudi judge encouraged young anti-government protesters to fight in Syria rather than face punishment at home. Twenty-two-year-old Mohammed al-Talq was arrested and found guilty of participating in a demonstration in the north-central Saudi city of Buraidah.

“After giving 19 young men suspended sentences, the judge called the defendants into his private chambers” and told them “You should save all your energy and fight against the real enemy, the Shia, and not fight inside Saudi Arabia,” according to Mohammed’s father, Abdurrahman al-Talq.

Eleven of those 19 went to Syria, and in December 2012, Mohammed al-Talq was killed in the fighting in Syria.

Human rights activists point out that the terror of going on trial under Saudi rule has convinced accused youth to leave to fight in Syria. In a case earlier this month, the Saudi Seven—i.e., seven young men who have been in jail for over seven years, since they were young teenagers accused of robbing jewelry stores, were put to death even though they had been arrested as minors, had been tortured, and had been denied lawyers. One of the accused was to have been “crucified for three days” reported the London Guardian, but instead he was killed by firing squad along with the others on March 13.

Mohammad Fahd al-Qahtani (not to be confused with the Guantanamo prisoner with a similar name) himself was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his human rights activities.

The cited actions by this Saudi judge lend credence to a wire report issued by the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) on Jan. 20 of this year, which included a photocopy of a secret Saudi Ministry of Interior memo of Apr. 17, 2012, reading, in translation:

“In reference to the Royal Court telegram No. 112, dated on 04/19/1433 H [March 3, 2012], referring to those held in the Kingdom jails accused with crimes to which Islamic Sharia law of execution by sword [decapitation] applies, we inform you that we are in dialogue with the accused criminals who have been convicted with smuggling drugs, murder, rape, from the following nationalities: 110 Yemenis, 21 Palestinians, 212 Saudis, 96 Sudanese, 254 Syrians, 82 Jordanians, 68 Somalis, 32 Afghanis, 94 Egyptians, 203 Pakistanis, 23 Iraqis, and 44 Kuwaitis [1,239 prisoners in all—ed.].

“We have reached an agreement with them that they will be exempted from the death sentence and given a monthly salary to their families and loved ones, who will be prevented from traveling outside Saudi Arabia in return for rehabilitation of the accused and their training in order to send them to Jihad in Syria.”

An unnamed source of AINA, a former Iraqi MP, told them that numbers of Iraqis sent to Syria under such arrangements, had shown up in Iraq asking the government to petition the Saudi Kingdom to release their families, and others similarly in Yemen. He said there are many more such memos concerning Iraqi, Libyan and Syrian prisoners in Saudi jails.

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