Saudi Arabia Arrests Women’s Rights Activists as ‘Traitors’

Saudi Arabia Arrests Women’s Rights Activists as ‘Traitors’ May 21, 2018

Jared Kushner’s brother from another mother, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, has been waging a vicious campaign to seize control of that country and eliminate his possible rivals in the royal family, and now he’s rounding up women’s rights activists and charging them with being traitors.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has cast himself as a reformer, advocating equality for women and granting them the right to drive.

But in the past few days, Saudi activists who called for exactly those things were arrested, accused by the authorities of undermining national security and branded “traitors” in pro-government newspapers.

The unusually vicious state-led crackdown has targeted Saudi Arabia’s most prominent women’s rights advocates, including activists who led the first protests against the driving ban decades ago and were jailed for their defiance…

The work of Saudi feminists in many ways represented the last sliver of permissible activism in Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy. Some of the feminists’ aims — such as revoking a system requiring women to seek approval from a male guardian to travel or to marry — had become part of a mainstream conversation and did not seem to cross the red lines that Saudi authorities have strictly enforced when activism turns to politics…

But the detentions of the women’s rights advocates continue a pattern: Over the past year, as the crown prince has consolidated power, authorities have locked up dozens of dissidents and perceived enemies, including rights activists, clerics, businessmen and princes.

I wonder whether Ivanka Trump, who holds an official position in the federal government now and is an alleged advocate of women’s rights, will have to say about this. Actually, I don’t. She’ll say nothing. Not a word. Because her father and husband have been stroking the prince and dramatically shifting our policy in the Middle East in favor of Saudi Arabia. After all, they put up billboards praising Trump when he visited there. And what’s more important, really, human rights or Trump getting his ego pumped? You have to have your priorities straight, people.

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