READ: How ⁦@JoeBiden⁩ can strike a blow against #Saudi Arabia's human rights violations - ⁦@DAWNmenaorg⁩ ⁦@Mikeyeis⁩ ⁦@aalodah⁩ explain…
“Since MBS took power, travel bans have become a key instrument in his struggle to extinguish any semblance of dissent. MBS has not only gone after activists &dissidents, but also has prevented their families from leaving the country to bully and coerce them into keeping silent.”
“Nineteen members of the family of Saudi Muslim scholar and political prisoner @salman_alodah have been banned from travel outside #Saudi Arabia, including six great-grandchildren, the youngest just a 1-year-old. “
“Travel bans constitute an integral part of the government's apparatus of oppression, a first step along a continuum, which, depending on the whims of its unelected leaders, might well progress to detention or disappearance.”
“Sarah and Omar Aljabri, ages 21 &22, children of former intelligence official #SaadAljabri who fled the country to Canada, have made their way along that continuum, from travel ban to secret trial to detention in an undisclosed location. They are children being used as pawns
“Biden has an obligation to temper the worst excesses of a leader who has a penchant for sadistic abuses &wanton wars that have harmed &destabilized region. MBS, is, after all, America's liability as long as the US provides him with billions in military weapons &political cover.”
Ban the banners: A forceful US response to Saudi ban would help fortify community of dissident Arab exiles who could well play a critical role in future of region &it would position US in larger struggle exactly where we belong -on side of dissidents, civil society & rule of law.

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More from @sarahleah1

21 Feb
Important, interesting read: “Our diasporic condition suggests that a new approach might be made possible by inserting our traumatizing experiences, old and new, into a broader context of similar experiences.”…
On the #Syrian condition: “The politics of prison, where prison is a fundamental political institution, the function of which is to de-politicize the population; indeed to politicide them.”
“The country has become a homeland of homelessness and hopelessness, with not even the slightest promise of justice. A whole half-century without change; an eternity; is a fountain of very heavy despair.”
Read 8 tweets
10 Feb
Single most important article on US disaster in #Yemen & how we might avoid repeating mistakes w people of Yemen holding the bag. Doubt US will successfully negotiate peace, but at min must reexamine assumptions about US interests that tether us to madmen…
Continued "defensive" weapons & operations, aka "reassurances" or appeasement WILL be a repeat of Obama admin mistakes. Note that not Russia, not China, is stepping in to fill the void for "offensive" weapons, insisting it will continue to fuel the Saudi UAE war
What's missing: any recognition that we owe amends to the people of Yemen, and that accountability is a critical requirement for avoiding repeating mistakes. Congress must DEMAND hearings to examine how we ended up helping kill 250K Yemenis, and what reparations we owe them
Read 8 tweets
9 Feb
On one hand, very important #Saudi development recognizing, at last, the importance of having a codified penal code, family law, etc; on the other hand, if the codified laws look like the "terrorism" and "cybercrime" laws, things will probably get worse!
Of note: 1) Activists have spent *decades* pushing for codification of laws in #Saudi. Absence of penal code meant bizarre crazy batshit like folks sentenced to DEATH for "witchcraft" and "sorcery"; & a "crime" is defined as whatever the judge feels like calling a crime that day
2) Codifying laws is another means to centralize power & authority. Whereas any old judge in any old court could decide "OFF with his head" for any old reason, without even delivering an opinion, codifying laws will reduce the discretion of judges and their arbitrary justice
Read 6 tweets
29 Jan
1) MORE on #Saudi #UAE arms freeze: As we shift to reassuring Gulf dictators that we will continue to “defend” them and sell them “defensive” weapons, notwithstanding arms freeze and pending JCPOA, keep in mind that this is exactly what “propping up” abusive dictators means.
2) These dictators do not represent the people of their country, they’re not legitimately elected, and they’ve repeatedly shown that they see the freedom of their citizens as an existential threat. It’s a fallacy to confuse “defending” them with defending their “country”.
3) It’s also a fallacy to assume that their “security concerns” are national security concerns. They’re first and foremost personal concerns for survival and preservation. This is why they fear democracy and democratic Islamist including the Muslim Brotherhood most of all.
Read 9 tweets
28 Jan
Some thoughts on #UAE #Saudi arms freeze:

1) Note caveated language that arms suspension is tied to offensive weapons used in Yemen, not more broadly. This is much narrower than what @joebiden promised, which was a complete ban on arms sales to Saudi…
2) This is now coupled w reassurances that US will continue to assist "security partners" (UAE/Saudi - what an oxymoron) in their defense, coming at same time as US ramps up troops and access in Saudi. Pre-sweetener for Iran deal?
3) Ending war in Yemen, however, is only one part of Saudi UAE abuses in region and domestically. UAE continues to illegally transport arms and indiscriminately bomb Libya, for example. A ban on offensive weapons used in Yemen won't address this
Read 12 tweets
23 Dec 20
This is Ali. He was 9 years old when Blackwater contractors whom Trump pardoned today murdered him. No justice for Ali, but let's keep asking, "why do they hate us?"
Alas. US attorney said at the time:
“These Blackwater contractors unleashed powerful sniper fire, machine guns & grenade launchers on innocent men,women & children.They were held accountable forthat outrageous attack&its devastating consequences for so many Iraqi families.”
"Despite their skepticism about the trial, more than two dozen Iraqi witnesses volunteered to travel to Washington to testify. They described a scene of horror and confusion as they took cover from the machine-gun fire coming from American armored trucks."
Read 8 tweets

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