Call to free Saudi journalist

Human Rights Watch has called on the Saudi authorities to immediately release a journalist accused of having "destructive thoughts".

    Saudi security forces are accused of high-handedness

    Rabbah al-Quwaii, a journalist at al-Shams newspaper in Riyadh, was arrested by Saudi Arabia's domestic intelligence agency, al-Mabahith, on April 3 and also charged with "doubting the [Islamic] creed", the group said.

    Saudi government officials confirmed the arrest and said al-Quwaii faced prosecution in court on unspecified anti-Islamic charges.

    Al-Quwaii was the editor of the media section of the Saudi internet forum, A Body of Culture.

    His writings questioned whether official religious doctrines in the conservative Gulf state had contributed to acts of violence carried out by al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula, Human Rights Watch said.

    Al-Quwaii had also received death-threats which he reported to al-Mabahith in November last year, but said they took no action.

    However, the governor of the Saudi province of Hail did order an investigation after al-Watan newspaper reported that al-Quwaii's car had been damaged and a note left saying "next time it's you", the group said.
    "Saudi security forces apparently believe they are there to abuse citizens like Rabbah al-Quwaii rather than protect them," said Sarah Leah Whitson, a Human Rights Watch director.

    The group also called on Turki al-Sudairy, Saudi Arabia's minister for human rights, to open a public inquiry in the role of the intelligence services in al-Quwaii's arrest.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


     How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    Ninety-nine years since Balfour's "promise", Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed.

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    In the rundown Pedion Areos Park, older men walk slowly by young asylum seekers before agreeing on a price for sex.

    Profile: Osama bin Laden

    Profile: Osama bin Laden

    The story of a most-wanted fugitive and billionaire.