Rule of Law article by Ibrahim Mugaiteeb in Wall Street Journal
So I was quite pleased to read an article in the Wall Street Journal by Mr. Mugaiteeb, who was assisted for this article by Christoph Wilcke. Mr. Wilcke is a researcher for the Human Rights Watch organization.
Mr. Mugaiteeb tells us of the many instances where the rule of law is arbitrarily "wielded" by the regular police.(not to be confused with the religious police)He gives many examples. For instance, the jailing of two young men because they were wearing red for Valentine's Day. Excuse me? That does sound like the workings of the religious policeman, but let me continue.
A Western expatriate was involved in a hit and run (him having been 'hit'). After waiting a few hours in vein for the police to show up, he goes to the police station to report it. Well, what do you know, he gets arrested for leaving the scene of a crime. Excuse me again?? (btw..if you are involved in any fender bender, you have to report it to the police by law)
Ibrahim Mugaiteeb tells stories of many people jailed without charge or having gone to trial. Some people are in jail just for having received a text message from an opponent in exile. He tells of a judicial system that hasn't codified the Shariah law that is practiced in KSA and how judges at their discretion can interpret it how ever they want, and how strict to whomever they want.
Unfortunately, I cannot link to his article as I am only a newspaper subscriber to WSJ, but that doesn't include online access. Short of duplicating the whole thing, I think the main and important gist of this article, specifically printed in or for the WSJ is this;
Washington needs to put pressure on the Saudi government to truly impart reforms that address the many (human rights) abuses and discrimination that happen on a daily basis.If Washington considers the KSA vital to their oil interest or the supposed stability in the region, the US government needs to recognize that abused and discontented people will turn against them. We already have plenty of proof from saudi mujahideen doing their grandioze killing deeds in Iraq and formerly in Afghanistan.
As the United States does not make serious demands for the improvement for democratic reforms in Saudi Arabia, the people of the country will continue to see a super power that makes (reform) demands of other countries as it suits them. Not exactly something the United States ought to do, and behooves to do with all that terrorist activities coming out of that country. Which is a shame, because I know there are plenty of ordinary saudi citizens, sunni and shia (sp?) alike who just want to live, real ordinary lives. In Sha'Allah.