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Hamas hostages in Saudi prisons

September 6, 2019 at 1:45 pm

Prison cells, 6 September 2019 [meesh/Flickr]

The news of the Saudi authorities arresting about 60 Jordanian and Palestinian citizens without charge or trial has been leaked. There has been no news about them for months after their arrest under strange circumstances. The authorities then allowed some families to visit their detained relatives, while at other times, the authorities allowed the detainees to speak to their families on the phone for times ranging between five and 20 minutes, sometimes more. The authorities suddenly decided to cut them off completely from their families and banned phone calls. The prisoners, or “hostages” disappeared behind the complete silence of the authorities, who did not give any explanations or news.

We can say whatever we like about the conditions of arrest or detention, but we are talking about a country without laws or a constitution. They have temporary instructions that change verbally or in writing, and the entire matter is depends on the mood of “his royal highness”, who controls the lives of people based on his whims and what serves his dream of becoming king. On the path to becoming king, he had no problem dismembering Jamal Khashoggi with a chainsaw and dissolving his body in acid or burning it.

It was also okay to seal any mouth that uttered a word not to his liking with red wax and throw them in the basement of a forgotten prison. He also allowed himself to do everything his masters have ordered him to do, even if it leads to tearing apart every one of the kingdom’s constants; values, morals and tradition, and unleashing his e-army, known as his electronic flies, to glorify the crimes of the Israeli occupation, flatter Netanyahu, and curse Palestine and its people. All that matters is that he pleases his masters and they pave the way for him to his throne of absolute power.

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There are now 60 others like Jamal Khashoggi who are in the grips of an unknown fate. Their families do not know anything about them. Their fates are in the hands of one person. If he is silent, then everyone is silent, and if they dare to ask about their relatives, they are given any excuse. There are no laws to deter them or regulations guaranteeing one’s life. For example, it is possible that before I finish writing this article, something can happen without any explanation or clarification. The fear that grips the families of the detainees is beyond words. The families of the Jordanian detainees rushed to their government and urged them to rescue their relatives, but it was in vain. There has been no real response to them, not even an official statement made by the Jordanian government. The constant response they receive when they ask about their family members is: “We are following up on the matter with the concerned authorities.” However, the truth is that there is no such action being taken, they only know what these “concerned authorities”, tell them, if they tell them anything at all.

A protestor holds 'We didn't forget Jamal Khashoggi' during a protest in front of Saudi Consulate in New York to protest against Saudi Arabia's decision to execute three leading Saudi Arabian scholars including Salman al-Awdah after Ramadan, in New York, United States on 1 June 2019. [Atılgan Özdil - Anadolu Agency]

A protester holds a card reading ‘We didn’t forget Jamal Khashoggi’ during a protest in front of Saudi Consulate in New York, US York, on 1 June 2019 [Atılgan Özdil/Anadolu Agency]

The same can be said about the Jordanian House of Representatives, the Jordanian Journalists Syndicate, and the union and parties council. They said nothing. It is as if Al Saud swallowed everyone’s tongue. With the exception of leaks, sporadic news and disjointed tweets here and there, and a few words from some human rights organisations, no one has dared to talk. Not even Hamas has spoken about the matter, after Al Saudi accused the detainees of being affiliated with the Palestinian group. It has said nothing on the matter for reasons only it knows.

As for the Palestinian prisoners from Gaza, no one has defended them and the Gaza authority is weaker than the Jordanian government in this regard and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah may have cooperated with the Al Saud authorities in the matter.

READ: Hamas is worried and silent about Saudi Arabia’s policy towards it

The prisoners have been detained for about six months and there doesn’t seem to be even a glimmer of hope for their release. The accusation directed against many of them is that they possess ideas supporting the resistance and some work in charities which support the Palestinians living under occupation and abroad. Some of the prisoners are old in age and most of them have illnesses that require treatment and medical attention.

On the official level, no news was reported from the Saudi government, admitting their detention, except for what was leaked to the Jordanian Embassy in Saudi Arabia. The media specifically does not know what the Al Saud government is telling the Jordanian government.

I do not know if these individuals have links with Hamas, but I am certain that all or at least most of the detainees have honourable nationalist positions regarding resistance and they sympathise with it. This is a public matter and the Al Saud government has known about it for years. Some of these detainees’ work for Palestine was carried out with the support and knowledge of the government. They did not do anything that threatens the security of the country they live in. despite this, they are facing a scary fate, and have disappeared behind bars for so long, with an unknown fate, and almost no one is calling for their release in a serious manner.

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This is an issue of public opinion, freedoms and vulnerable detainees who need the support of every authority or pen. They need to stand up to the chainsaw gang. It is not difficult for those who killed Jamal Khashoggi in such a horrendous way, with impunity, to repeat the crime – perhaps more professionally this time.

The 60 individuals imprisoned today may be Hamas hostages in the Al Saud prisons, but they are also people who deserve every effort and support to rescue them from the death sentences issued by murderous “sheikhs” on the orders of his royal highness.

This is all carried out with international and perhaps Arab support from the gang that controls the world and see nothing wrong with attacking people to put them in their place.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Al-Araby Al-Jadeed on 4 September 2019

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.