A student was imprisoned for her tweets – thanks to the elements of empowerment of the Saudi regime | Arwa Mahdawi

I hope hitting a tyrant with a fist was worth it, Biden!

Salma Al Shehab is in prison for retweeting. The 34-year-old University of Leeds student and mother of two was traveling to Saudi Arabia for vacation when she found herself He was summoned to the Special Terrorism Court and charged Using a web site to “cause public disturbances and destabilize civil and national security”. What does that mean in plain English? She had a Twitter account and retweeted some opponents. For this “crime”, she was sentenced to 34 years in prison, and just to make sure she really learned her lesson, she was also banned from travel for 34 years.

It’s not exactly a secret Kingdom Saudi Arabia He is sensitive to criticism and tends to deal with opponents through bone saws or imprisonment. But what makes this case so chilling is that Chehab is not a prominent activist in exile who has millions of followers. She has 159 followers on Instagram and just over 2,500 followers on Twitter. She’s not someone who has always been in the public eye. She is just an ordinary person with a Twitter account, and among the tweets about her sons, people have sometimes retweeted people critical of Saudi Arabia and expressed their support for women’s rights activist Loujain Al-Hathloul, who was also thrown into prison by the regime. The message from the oil-rich and rights-poor kingdom here is very clear: It doesn’t matter who you are – if you criticize the regime, you will regret it.

Shehab has been detained since January 2021 and said she has been in solitary confinement for 285 days. God knows how I was treated during this time, but I think it’s fairly consistent that Saudi prisons are not pleasant places, especially for women. Shamefully, her case got mainstream attention in the West this week when Washington Post I picked it up and published an editorial calling on Joe Biden to speak out strongly on the issue. Not surprisingly, The Post led the charge in this regard: Post Opinions contributor Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident, was brutally assassinated nearly four years ago and an American. intelligence report It found that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, agreed to his murder.

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If you killed a prominent opponent on a foreign land and cut his body with a bone, there must be actual consequences, don’t you think? Joe Biden promised at one point he’d be there; He pledged to make Saudi Arabia a pariah state. And then, a few months ago, he crawled to Saudi Arabia to beg for oil Prince Muhammad fist. While this may sound pathetic on the surface, Biden assured us that he was tough behind the scenes. The White House said Biden had “raised specific instances of concern” about human rights – which must have left the prince really horrified, really shivering in his shoes. In response to these concerns, Biden apparently received some commitments “with respect to institutional reforms and safeguards in place to protect against any such behavior in the future.” “Any behavior like that” is a very healthy way of saying “journalists post bits and pieces with a bone saw.” As the Washington Post noted in its scathing editorial, the “commitments” Biden received on the reforms were clearly a “farce”.

Of course they were a joke! Any idiot could see that Prince Mohammed would not suddenly become passionate about human rights just because Biden told him to stop the Malarkey murder. I’m sure Biden himself knew the commitments were a farce. But here’s the thing: Saudi Arabia is a useful ally that buys a lot of expensive weapons, saves a lot of oil, and spends a lot of money with it. Companies like McKinseySo it is appropriate for the West to go along with this farce. Indeed, over the past few years, large sections of the Western media have been dropping to their feet in an attempt to portray Prince Mohammed as some kind of staggering “reformer”. In 2018, for example, after Saudi Arabia lifted the world’s only ban on women driving, Dozens of blowing pieces About how awesome the crown prince is. CBS interviewed him and declared that he was “women’s liberator.” The New York Times Thomas Friedman wrote a supplemental article entitled “The Saudi Arab Spring at Last”. The fact that Saudi Arabia was simultaneously imprisoning women’s rights activists and bombing Yemen to shreds, creating one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, did not play much of a role. Shame on everyone who played along with Mohammed bin Salman’s novel and helped sports and sterilization of human rights violations in Saudi Arabia. Autocrats have no power without enablers and Prince Mohammed has no end to them.

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A Utah school has secretly investigated whether the winning student-athlete is transgender

An Iowa girl defeated her peers in a statewide school athletic competition. Instead of congratulating the child, the girls’ parents hit the girls on the spot He demanded an investigation into her gender. And they got one: Gender police searched the school records of girls going back to kindergarten to make sure they were assigned female at birth. This isn’t an isolated incident: The Utah High School Activities Association is said to have looked into other complaints from athletes who “don’t look feminine enough.” This is a frightening reminder, for those who need to be reminded, that abuses of trans rights affect all of us. “We were warned that this is a possibility,” noted one transgender activist, “that everyone who manages to be accused of being transgender…is about judging women’s bodies. And no one is safe.”

Florida court rules 16-year-old girl is not ‘mature enough’ to have an abortion

but she mature enough To have a baby! This is Republican reasoning for you.

Los Angeles strippers join unions

Dancers performed at a strip club in Los Angeles Join the National Federation representing theatrical actors in the United States. “We love what we do,” one of the dancers, Velveta, said in a statement. “We’d like our jobs more if we had basic worker protections in place.”

Rwanda may be one of the first countries to eliminate cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting women in Rwanda. The country has become a frontrunner in expanding testing, raising awareness, and vaccination against cancer-related HPV. Officials believe that Rwanda may become the number one country in the world To eliminate cervical cancer.

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Week in Triple Claw

The daring seal made its way 150 meters from shore and broke through two cat boards in order to hang out in the lobby of a New Zealand home, much to the family that lived there. How did the cat (Coco) feel about the intruder? Coco wasn’t available for comment but as she ran off the property and ran into a neighbor’s house, we can’t help but think she wasn’t a fan of seals. This sort of thing is clearly not entirely alien to New Zealand: baby seals love to roam. As the homeowner noted, “I think, like all teens, they don’t necessarily make reasonable decisions.”

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