The Saudi authorities continue their dirty policy of arbitrarily detaining activists, placing them in solitary confinement, and subjecting them to abuse and torture in all its forms without a clear charge. Moreover, the authorities detain them simply for posting tweets or videos on social media platforms.
The story of the tweeter “al-Bnakhi”, the owner of the account (albna5y), summarizes the issue of the arrest of expatriates for expressing his opinion, as the Saudi authorities continue to detain him for two years because of his spontaneous video tweets.
He was arrested by the Saudi authorities on 13 September 2017 for criticizing Saud al-Qahtani, an adviser to Mohammed bin Salman.
Al-Banakhi, a young man known for his cynical style and colloquial tone, had posted on his Twitter account days before his arrest, a video in which he criticized the policy of Saud al-Qahtani and his keen interest in leading a media war against Ibn Salman’s opponents, leaving the daily problems of Saudi citizens such as poverty, unemployment, high prices.
Saud al-Qahtani was appointed as an adviser to the Royal Court at the rank of minister by a royal decree issued in December 2015. He was able, through his huge electronic army, to pave the way for the removal of the former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef and the installation of the current crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
According to sources, Al-Qahtani had contacted an Italian spy company in 2012 and bought a number of spyware with the keys to encrypt it. He is also an active member of the hacking sites dedicated to the sale of hacker services. Al-Qahtani asked through his fake account a number of electronic services such as hacking the accounts of Saudi dissidents and spying on their phones and mobile devices in exchange for huge sums of money.
Al-Qahtani, known by his opponents as Dulaim, is a name given in the Gulf to the servant whose master gives him real dirty business to do, the real media minister, is assigned in the kingdom. Newspapers, local channels and media funded by the Al Saud regime abroad receive direct orders from him.
For more than two years, the Saudi authorities have launched extensive security crackdowns and arrests targeting even Arab communities, including Palestinians, Jordanians, Syrians and African communities inside the kingdom, some of whom have yet to be known.
The arrests included hundreds of Saudi activists, jurists, media professionals, writers and preachers who apparently tried to express their opposition to the kingdom’s changes amid human rights demands for their fate and justice.
The Saudi authorities prevent human rights organizations from reviewing the conditions of their prisoners, especially politicians, and Riyadh imposes a secret secret on this file, as it has rejected calls from several international human rights organizations to improve the conditions of detainees and their release.