Anonymous takes on Saudi Arabia in Order to Help Ali Mohammed al-Nimr
Ramazan Khalidov, Takeshi Hasegawa and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The government of Saudi Arabia is being targeted by Anonymous because of the genuine threat against the life of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr. Anonymous, a network of highly intelligent and dedicated hackers, is taking up the case of al-Nimr. Of course, the factors behind the decision by Anonymous to highlight the injustice of al-Nimr will be multiple. However, of major concern is the severity of justice in Saudi Arabia in relation to al-Nimr, the way of killing this individual if carried out – and, of significance, the aloofness of the United Nations (UN) in giving a senior chair to Saudi Arabia on the UN Human Rights Council.
Anonymous is clearly known for powerful campaigns against espionage, censorship and cyber security that is threatening our freedom. Yet Anonymous does take political stances, for example hacktivists became involved in Tunisia during 2011. Therefore, given the youthfulness of al-Nimr when he was arrested in Saudi Arabia – and claims of torture since being incarcerated – then it appears natural that Anonymous would take up the case of al-Nimr.
Several media outlets report that al-Nimr was just a typical young teenager who studied hard and enjoyed relaxing with his friends. Yet al-Nimr was saddened – like countless other young teenagers – about events internally in relation to freedom and much further afield. Therefore, for merely protesting at the age of 17 he was singled out and sentenced to death by a draconian justice system and any day now – unless the sentence is commuted – he could be beheaded publicly and then to add ultimate humiliation his body will be crucified and left out in the open for three days.
The Daily Mail reports “MailOnline’s source claimed the government is ‘making an example’ of Ali because of the actions of his uncle Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a Shi’ite cleric who was also sentenced to death for speaking out against them.”
France 24 also highlights the reality of executions in Saudi Arabia by reporting “According to Amnesty International’s most recent report, Saudi Arabia executed “on average one person every two days” between August 2014 and June 2015. The rights group has also accused the Sunni-ruled country, which enforces sharia law, of restricting freedoms of expression, association and assembly, as well as discriminating against the country’s Shiite minority and carrying out arbitrary arrests.”
Of course, powerful nations throughout the world that have favorable relations with Saudi Arabia should be ashamed about doing little about the human rights record of this nation. After all, how many decades does it take until religious freedom, basic political rights and the rights of women – and other important areas – actually matter? It is all well and good for democratic nations to attack North Korea because they have limited economic interest. However, given all the political and economic leverages that democratic nations have with Saudi Arabia, then it is shocking that so little is being done to tackle this draconian nation.
Anonymous is truly international and is open to all people irrespective of religion, no faith, ethnicity, sexuality, class and so forth. In this sense, it is a product of a world that is getting smaller based on technological factors, modernity and new thought patterns that are focused on the bigger picture.
In an interview one hacktivist told Deutsche Welle that: “Anonymous is an idea, not a group – there is no membership, anyone can be Anonymous, you can be Anonymous. We stand up to the government, show them what it’s actually like – it’s politics, it’s about cyber privacy, censorship – mostly online, but in person as well.”
Anonymous is now intent on attacking websites belonging to the government of Saudi Arabia. At the same time, utilizing Twitter, Facebook, and other social media, Anonymous can reach vast numbers of people and highlight the injustice of al-Nimr. However, unlike others that are dedicated to fighting back against draconian governments and democratic nations that are rolling back freedom, Anonymous can put real pressure on targeted areas quickly. In this sense, elite power mechanisms are no longer out of reach because of dedicated individuals from Anonymous that support noble causes.
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