A Saudi prince said today that a rational man would not tolerate women going to the streets in protest. The comments, by the deputy governor of Qassim province Faisal bin Mishal, follow the crackdown on a sit-in by women who called for the fall of the Saudi Interior Minster last Monday, in the Saudi Arabian city of Buraida. Hundreds of protesters were arrested while other citizens are being prosecuted for providing help to the women.
Before they were arrested, the women protesters had recorded video testimonies of what they called “crimes of the interior ministry,” documenting what happened to them in a previous sit-in. Highlights from the video were uploaded to YouTube by wa3iclub and published with English subtitles here:
On the morning following the women protesters’ arrest on February 28th, over 160 men, 15 women and six children, many of whom are relatives of the women, protested in front of the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution in Buraida. When nothing happened, they decided to sleep the night there. An unusual video clip showed protesters chanting at night outside the Bureau: “Prisoners, do not worry. Your dignity is ours, your blood is ours.” [in ar]
The video, below, was uploaded to YouTube by Raed Abu Faisal:
The following morning of Friday, March 1, all protesters were surrounded and arrested. Amnesty International reported:
At least 176 men and women were arrested in the early hours of this morning after staging a peaceful protest outside the Bureau for Investigation and Public Prosecution in Buraida, a city north of the capital Riyadh, in Qassim province.
Earlier today [March 3], the deputy governor of Qassim Faisal bin Mishal met tens of clerics and notable people from the city to discuss the recent events. Marya al-Fahad, a daughter of one of those who attended the meeting, tweeted:
الأمير : لا يرضى عاقل أن تخرج للشارع امرأة .. والدي : العاقل لا يدفع المرأة للخروج للشارع لذا ننهي القضية من جذورها . #اعتصام_بريدة
@_muora: The prince: “A rational man would not tolerate women going to the streets.” My father: “A rational man would not force women to go to the streets. Solve the roots of the problem.”
Furthermore, one citizen who brought blankets to the protesting women on February 26th was chased and interrogated with by secret police. Before he was arrested, he uploaded a video explaining what was happening to him [in Arabic]:
He is still under arrest. According to Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association member Abdullah al-Saidi:
هارون العقيل اعتقل لتقديمه بطانيات للمعتصمات واليوم سيحال للمحاكمة مع رفض طلبه توكيل محامي !
@abdulllah1406 Haroon al-Aqeel was arrested for providing blankets to the protesters and today he will be brought in front of a court. He was denied his request of a lawyer.
سنناضل للحصول على نسخة من صك الحكم الذي سيصدر على هارون العقيل ليوضع في متحف وتنظر إليه الأجيال القادمة
@abdulllah1406: We will fight to ensure that we will get a copy of the verdict that will be issued against Harron al-Aqeel so we can put it in a museum for future generations to see.
Originally published on Global Voices.
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