ACPRA Calls For: First, Sacking The Saudi Minister of Interior, Prince Nayef Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. Second, Prosecuting Him, His Accomplices: Directorate of General Investigation (DGI) Officers, Interrogators, Prison Wardens, and Judges For Systematic Human Rights Violations. Which Amount To Crimes Against Humanity, Because It Is A Fundamental Reason For Global Terrorism Phenomenon.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011.
To The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
CC: To The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Deputy, HRH Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, The Crown Prince and Minister of Defense and Aviation.
Initially, the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) would like to take this opportunity to offer you its deepest appreciation for your efforts in elevating and advancing our country. ACPRA, furthermore, would extend its gratitude to your brothers who have been supporting your political reform program, especially the Crown Prince. This reign is an era of reform that supports political participation and upholds human rights. To serve these noble national goals, several reform steps have been implemented, and institutions and associations have been established.
NGOs (like ACPRA) are considered an important tributary that best serves our supreme national interest. The proliferation of these associations would make the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques deserve the title "the reformist king", which has been widely repeated by international press, and attested by Saudi-affairs observers and international researchers. Hence, no wonder that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his supportive brothers have been praised as "reform-minded", because you supported public liberty and expanded freedom of expression.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, we seek your forgiveness in addressing you frankly and honestly, away from exaggerated praises that are frequently reoccurring in some of our local media by some of the government employees. Unfortunately, even some Saudi intellectuals who occupy leadership positions in the state have turned into sycophants. Given our country's dire conditions, we can't afford silence, let alone sycophancy or glorification.
Saudis have become aware of their rights, and they started demanding them long time ago. Their demands have significantly multiplied since nearly two decades ago. Since that date, however, nothing has changed as far as the structure of the state. The status quo has been maintained, where a small group of despots remain in complete control of all the state apparatus. They continue to brutally suppress, deliberately marginalize citizens, and ignore the country's exacerbated problems without providing worthy-of-mention solutions.
When the citizens' awareness increased through the information and cultural revolution that swept the world, the pace of repression and human rights violation has intensified. It was accompanied by an increase in the proportion of deprivation, poverty and oppression; then people vociferously defended their rights by attempting to lift injustice inflicted upon them. They demanded adhering to the most important source of legitimacy, the allegiance conditions: Justice, democracy, and nation's stewardship over rulers. However, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) insisted to rob people's legitimate rights as prescribed in the Islamic Jurisprudence.
MOI grew less tolerant with all those who want to exercise their legitimate rights to resist political injustice, public-fund embezzlement, and tyranny. Even if their objection takes the form of writing a newspaper article, publishing an opinion in a internet blog, or a spoken word in a public-discussion forum or in a television channel. MOI drove young and old men to prisons, and confiscated their rights in a blatant violation of the principle of the nation's stewardship over rulers as guaranteed by Islamic jurisprudence, and as supported by international conventions signed and ratified by the Saudi government.
MOI has used reprehensible methods to suppress and intimidate people through arbitrary detentions, tortures, ill-treatments, and secret court trials. These methods are the most important weapons of authoritarian regimes that systematically violate human rights.
What helped MOI achieved theses diabolic goals are its dominance over the state kernels in general, and its control of the judiciary in particular. For instance, the president of the Investigation and Public Prosecution Bureau falls under the authority of the Interior Minister, and the Directorate of the General Investigations (DGI) continues to operate outside rule of law through arbitrarily detaining and interrogating suspects illicitly. Prisons are subject to neither judicial supervision, inspection, nor monitoring by independent human rights organizations. Moreover, the judiciary is not independent; in fact to the contrary, it became vulnerable to frequent MOI interventions which flagrantly violate fundamental principles of justice.
These dire circumstances make repression, torture, and human rights violations the bases of state's dealings with the citizens and expatriates, which caused people to lose confidence in the justice system that failed to stop MOI's systematic human rights violations. This congested atmosphere turned prisons from the goal of restricting criminals' mobility to the goals of harassments and tortures, which make prisons incubators for breeding violence, rebellion, and terrorism. Consequentially, it stifled peaceful expression venues, exacerbated social problems, resulted in a confused tense generation that holds deep grudge not only against repression, but also against the community that has failed to redress injustice.
Thus, the Ministry of Interior adopted the "police-state" form that controls all the government apparatus, such as leadership positions in universities, press and media outlets, education and mosques. DGI, however, has the upper hand in oppressing people arbitrarily detaining, solitarily confining, and brutally torturing suspects. Physical and psychological torture and cruelty are widely practiced by despotic regimes in order to extract confessions through coercion, where the Saudi judiciary is quick in accepting certifying them.
The court then issues harsh judgments against people, sentencing them to long prison terms, thousands flogs, degrading people's dignity, and breaking activists' wills. Especially, Saudi intellectuals, university professors, and concerned citizens who want to publically object political wrongdoings because they are worried about the country's future.
MOI delusively thought that it had succeeded in eradicating terrorism and extremism through police and military solutions: increasing arrests, tortures, and harassments. The increase in MOI control, has increased tension and rebellion. MOI, however, isn't aware that its repressive policy that confiscates freedoms and stifles peaceful expressions. This policy has led not only to domestic violence, but also to global terrorism phenomenon.
The proof of this is that more Saudis are involved in global terror. For instance, most of those who involved in the events of September 11, 2001 are Saudis (15 out of 19 individuals).
This is a direct result of absence of justice, suppression of civil society peaceful movement, and the horrors of torture in prisons. The glaring example for this ill treatment is the severe tortures inflicted upon young men who have returned from Afghanistan in the 1980s, who were received by arrest, detention, and torture; and the result has been disastrous.
MOI counts upon the triology of despotism: oppression, injustice and corruption; which has not only led to formation of public discontent, but also led to its spread and accumulation. MOI, unfortunately, failed to realize that violence however serious, it's merely a direct consequence of public discontent, but there are more negative impacts of the triology, like corruption, immorality, drugs, thefts, bribery, physical and psychological illness, and suicide.
MOI ignored laws of nature as confirmed by the facts of political sociology. Namely, that injustice even if accompanied by strong muscles would undermine security, lead to nations failure, and result in the collapse of civilizations. Ignoring these facts resulted in limiting the solution in an organized police repression - overt and covert - which poured oil on the fire, and watered violence and extremism grass that produces injustice instead of obliterating them.
The Ministry of Interior Policy is A Sole Producer of- Local and Global- Violence and Extremism, For the Following Reasons:
1. For a couple of decades, the interior minister has refused repeated requests from keen human rights activists to establish a fact-finding committee to investigate violations. The minister, however, continued repression, arrests and imprisonment of people in general; targeting political activists in particular.
2. MOI's dominance over the judiciary contributed to the methodology breaches of court independence through dozens of methods (as explained by human rights organizations).
3. MOI is responsible for humiliating the nation's dignity through dozens repressive tactics to tame people before arrest and imprisonment. Most notably, travel bans imposed by MOI without court orders (referred to by human rights advocates in their published statements).
4. MOI made arbitrary detention the norm; and through various forms of torture, harassment, and horror, MOI has turned prisons into incubators that produce violence, rebellion, depression, madness. These torturous detention centers have become the main recruiters of followers and supporters to terrorist groups.
5. MOI policy is the largest contributor to the protection of tribal police-state pattern, which violates political and civil rights.
6. Violence and extremism produced by MOI is the output of a breach of legitimate constituency (i.e. the social contract). Violence is one of scores of symptoms of the disease and its complications. It isn't the source of the disease.
7. While the minister of interior striped the judiciary of its independence, he pressured the judiciary and insisted on secret trials in order to cover up his ministry role in causing violence and extremism. Hence, the Saudi judiciary has intensified its human rights violations through exaggerating the application of "discretionary sentencing" that reached execution punishments in minor offences, that don't deserve long-term prison penalty. For example, the public execution of the political activist: Abdullah Al-Hadheef.
8. In order to deflect blame, cover up violence, and obscure extremism, the minister of interior continues to fabricate charges of supporting, financing terrorism, and overthrowing the government against activists, reformists, religious leaders, scholars, academics, and others. Furthermore, the minister of interior told a group of activists, who demanded the adherence to the constitutional allegiance condition, that: "You are the other face of terror." The most prominent example is Jeddah political prisoners (Al-Reshoudi, Al-Qarni, Al-Shamiri, Al-Hashimi, Sayfaldin Al-Sharif Al-Ghalib, and the rest of their colleagues), which manifests the exploitation of the global war on terror to eradicate peaceful opposition, advocates of political rights, and to mislead local and international opinions.
9. MOI policies have deliberately eliminate all manifestations of civil society through dozens of ways.
10. MOI has worked in producing and disseminating a corrupt religious discourse that seriously impairs citizenship, pluralism and tolerance. Furthermore, MOI has fueled intolerance, isolationism, and extremism.
11. MOI has destroyed the concept of the ‘civil state' which is based on dialogue and differences, and turned it into a ‘police state'. Which is natural producer of violence and extremism. MOI has reinforced the police-state model via systematic oppression of civil society movements and stifling peaceful protest, which produced tension and that is the greatest causes of violence and terror.
12. In addition, rampant looting and pillaging have led to thwarting political-reform initiatives. To maintain the regime's status quo, MOI implemented policies aimed at silencing political opponents through fear, arbitrary arrests, solitary confinements, and tortures. These systematic abuses amounted to ‘crimes against humanity'.
First: ACPRA Calls For Sacking Nayef Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, The Minister of Interior:
You, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques - today - you have the treatment, and you are the last resort to save the country. People expect you to start the reform program that redresses corruption. For that we present before you these specific charges against the minister of interior, otherwise you will be liable before God, the people, present, and future generations.
In light of these charges laid out before you, we ask you to dismiss Prince Nayef Bin Abdulaziz (the interior minister), strip him of all his posts, and lift his immunity to appear before an inquiry commission to face the charges against him.
You, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, are responsible before God and before the people since assuming responsibility for all the poor persons who sleep hungry, every destitute individuals deprived of shelters, and for each family begging in the streets because the Minister of Interior imprisoned their breadwinners. Moreover, you are responsible for everything that happens in the country and its people. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, you're personally responsible for the crimes of those who devour the wealth of the poor, vulnerable, and the needy. You are responsible for the work of all those who tortured activists, scholars, and advocates of reform. You are responsible for all the fabricated charges, and responsible for all degrading treatments.
There is a rule in political science, followed throughout the world, which is that charges against state officials must be taken seriously, though not proven conclusively, because they differ from charges against ordinary individuals. Similar practices have been followed by your father vis-à-vis provincial governors to prevent the abuse of power.
The Interior Minister, if there were no one to monitor his actions and hold him accountable, will drive the country into further collapses. His backward dinosaurian mentality is a serious stumbling block to any institutional reform. As long as his authority unchecked, he will continue to employ his 30-year experience to continue oppression and domination through penetration arteries of the State.
Second: ACPRA Calls For Prosecuting The Minister of Interior, His Accomplices: DGI Officers, Interrogators, Prison Wardens, and Judges For Their Involvements in Systematic Human Rights violations:
In order to ensure the non-recurrence of these human rights violations, it isn't enough to sack the minister of interior, but we must tackle our political corruption before we become vulnerable to foreign interventions: what do those who nurture violence and extremism grass do when the global and local masks of terrorism theatrical play fall apart?
It is not enough to sack the interior minister, but we demand him to stand trial for the following ten charges:
1. The MOI Policy is a fundamental cause of violence and extremism that exploded after the accumulation of congestion in the society that took place over the past thirty years. Hence, oppression is the greatest cause of violence that shocked the country and the people.
2. MOI deviated the prison goals from discipline to torture and harassments, and it continues to practice physical and psychological tortures in prisons despite repeated warning by human rights advocates.
3. Violation of the judicial systems that protect the rights of the accused promulgated by the State (the Law of the Criminal Procedure). MOI continues to violate its own laws in spite of human rights advocates repeated letters and official reports.
4. MOI continues to cover up its employees' wrongdoings who have violated human rights. MOI uses the work of sovereignty cloak to protect those who violate the citizens' rights, particularly corrupt DGI detectives.
5. Depriving political prisoners' families of their livelihoods: MOI illicitly fired activists and dissidents, judges, college professors, and scholars.
6. The Saudi judiciary usually rubberstamps MOI-fabricated charges against activists because the judiciary becomes an instrument at the MOI's disposal.
7. MOI deliberately and systematically detains suspects arbitrarily in violation of the provisions of Islamic law, which prohibits criminalizing and arresting suspects before proven guilty in a fair and public court trial. MOI repeatedly violates Saudi Penal Law (the Law of the Criminal Procedure).
8. MOI established and continues to support a corrupt religious discourse that entrenches injustice and reinforces backwardness through recruiting credulous clerics. These "scholars" are employed by MOI at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Information, or education to spread prejudice and intolerance especially among Sunni and Shiite.
9. MOI conditions political prisoners' release on signing statements and pledges renouncing their activities. These practices violate local, international law, and international human rights conventions signed and ratified by the Saudi government.
10. MOI Neglects public security, the minister of interior - as focused the role of the his ministry in monitoring personal peaceful expressions and spy on them- looters thieves, and criminals are left free. The Saudi security conditions deteriorated precipitously a few years ago, people now feel worried about their children in the street, women at home, their parked cars, and became afraid of abduction themselves.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques,
For these charges we hope that you command Prince Nayef Bin Abdulaziz, the minister of Interior, to appear before a public court that would adjudicate our above-mentioned charges against him. ACPRA is ready to provide all the necessary documents that would prove its case against the minister in a court of law
We are sending you this petition and we do not underestimate MOI's retaliations, but we are willing to pay any cost in resisting tyranny and combating injustice inflicted on our country and our people.
The Saudi Civil Rights and Political Rights