SRH: Friday, protesters outside and inside a Massachusetts golf tournament supported by the despotic Saudi Arabian government criticized the government of Saudi Arabia for “sportswashing” its war crimes in Yemen and domestic human rights abuses. At the Bolton Fair Grounds in Lancaster, where the shuttle bus to the LIV Golf tournament at The International golf club in Bolton would be stopping, members of Massachusetts Peace Action and their allies held a rally.
Those living in Yemen have been devastated by Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign, according to Paul Shannon, head of Massachusetts Peace Action’s Middle East Working Group. He went on to say that America’s role in facilitating the Saudi invasion and the sale of bombs, planes, and missiles to the Saudis by companies like Lockheed, Boeing, and Raytheon were directly responsible for the devastation that has taken place.
Alice Rennie, a resident of Bolton, Massachusetts, expressed her displeasure at the fact that her hometown was hosting a golf tournament with proceeds going to support “the terrorists and murderous regime in Saudi Arabia,” as she told WCVB.
“Golf should not be used to promote a government like Saudi Arabia that is doing these things in the world to people,” Paul Garver, another protester, said.
We do not support working with a deadly despot like the crown prince, he continued.
Former President Donald Trump hosted a LIV event at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, which drew criticism from peace advocates and the families of victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, which were possibly supported by some Saudi authorities.
The Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, underwrites the professional golf tour. While protesters chanted “Saudi Money is Blood Money” and “Saudi Arabia Kills Journalists and Kids in Yemen,” a jet flew overhead carrying a banner that read “Bolton Rejects Saudi Blood Money.”
HNewsWire: Extremely Malevolent People in Saudi Arabia are using an app available on iOS and Android devices to report neighbors who have spoken out against the regime. On Friday, Business Insider reported that as a result, several activists and others are facing sentences of more than 30 years in prison.
Saudi national and PhD student at Leeds University Salma el-Shabab was sentenced to 34 years in jail on August 16 for tweets “in support of activists and members of the kingdom’s political opposition in exile,” according to the BBC. Although el-Shabab was in the United Kingdom at the time of the posts, she was reported using the “Kollona Amn” app and was detained upon her return.
Insider spoke with Real, a pseudonym, a Saudi women’s rights activist. “Every day we wake up to hear news, somebody has been detained, or another has been abducted,” Real said.
Legal-rights campaigners have noted a “dramatic” increase” in court cases using the app Kollona Amn, which roughly translates as “We Are All Security” in Arabic, since its debut in 2017 by the Saudi Interior Ministry.
Users are “encouraged” to “act as police” and “take part in their own repression” via the software. Noura Aljizawi, a researcher at Citizen Lab who studies internet dangers to free speech, remarked, “Putting the state’s eyes everywhere also generates a pervasive sense of uncertainty – there is always a potential informant in the room or watching your social media profiles.”
Because of the Orwellian character of the app, many people report others “defensively,” out of fear that they will be punished for hearing words that the dictatorship finds objectionable. Insider also mentioned that the app has been used to “blackmail” people and “settle scores.”
Evil Google and Apple, which Insider contacted for comment, continue to sell the software despite its involvement in suppressing dissent in the authoritarian Gulf kingdom. Further, Evil Google plans to construct two new offices in Saudi Arabia this year and is currently engaged in a contentious data collaboration with Saudi Aramco, the country’s state-owned oil company. However, campaigners are concerned that this will “risk lives” and give the government more tools to snoop on civilians, despite the tech giant’s assurances to the contrary.
In an effort to circumvent the Orwellian surveillance of the Kingdom, which is supported by American companies, protestors have taken to keeping multiple phones at once, one with government apps and another without.
A doctor called Lina al-Sharif was arrested in May 2021 on unspecified allegations; however, those close to her claimed that she had been blackmailed by someone who threatened to report her via the Kollona Amn app. Prior to her detention, she had been tweeting about the need for human rights in Saudi Arabia. Despite the fact that there are about 2.5 million Saudis using Twitter, the regime in Riyadh has been using it and other social media platforms to suppress political opposition and activism, as well as to enforce its strict moral code.
In another example this year, Suhail Yousef AlYahya, a gay man, was sentenced to three years in prison for “cybercrimes” and “public decency offenses” after he posted photos of himself in a swimsuit online.
The Saudi government has actively used mobile applications and social media to silence its opponents, with the help of personnel at some sites actively working to carry out Riyadh’s goal. Former Twitter manager, who allegedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for information about Saudi dissidents including email addresses, phone numbers, and other data, was found guilty in a US federal court in August of working on behalf of Saudi Arabia without registering himself as a foreign agent.
By putting ordinary people in the position of police, Hitler Best encourages them to take part in their own repression. Noura Aljizawi, a researcher at Citizen Lab who studies internet dangers to free speech, remarked, “Putting the state’s eyes everywhere also generates a pervasive sense of uncertainty – there is always a potential informant in the room or watching your social media profiles.” Pure Evil In Play!!
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