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  • » 11/07/2008, 00.00

    SAUDI ARABIA

    With demonstrations banned Saudi activists launch online home-based hunger strike



    The group calls for a reform of the legal system, changes to the constitution and the release of 11 reformers held in prison without trial. Students and intellectuals join the protest campaign via Facebook.
    Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A group of Saudi activists began a rare public hunger strike on Thursday 6 November, demanding reforms to the judiciary and drawing attention to the issue of detention without trial of 11 political reformists. Since public protests are banned in Saudi Arabia they have opted instead to hold their strike in their homes. The 65 men and women protesters plan to continue the strike today.

    Mohammad Al Qah'tani, one of the 13 activists who called for the protest, said “we don't want a confrontation with security forces,” for this reason they chose to go on a hunger strike at home.

    The activists sent a letter to the government demanding the release of political prisoners, the improvement of prison conditions and a reform to the legal system, but failed to get a response.

    “We used all legal means to make our voice heard, but we were ignored,” said Al Qah'tani, a college professor.

    He added that that the protest will not turn to the streets because we “don't want to have problems with security forces that would not lead to any results.”

    The leaders of the virtual revolt posted a statement on the social networking site Facebook, an online community frequented especially by the young, announcing the strike and urging other Saudis to join the political struggle. So far writers, lawyers and college students have joined in.

    Human rights activist Matrook Al Faleh is among the 11 political prisoners. He was detained in May for advocating constitutional reforms and an end to the inhuman conditions in prison. Along with him, ten other activists were jailed in Jeddah in 2007.

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    See also

    14/02/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
    Jeddah, gang-raped woman sentenced to prison, one hundred lashes
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    09/08/2005 SAUDI ARABIA
    King Abdullah pardons detainees . . . Muslim ones that is


    18/06/2008 SAUDI ARABIA
    Riyadh announces plan to rehabilitate inmates
    Interior Ministry illustrate plan in response to concerns voiced by the Saudi National Human Rights Society on prison conditions.

    18/08/2017 09:19:00 IRAN
    Mehdi Kharroubi halts hunger strike

    The authorities have agreed to remove guards from the house where he has been detained under house arrest since 2011. Kharroubi called for a public trial. His son: "Officials have promised they will take action on it."



    28/06/2013 VIETNAM
    Catholic lawyer in jail on false charges prays and fasts before his trial
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