February 9, 2019

SAUDI ARABIA: Mariah Carey Was The 1st Female Western Singer To Perform In Saudi Arabia Since Crown Prince Salman Introduced Reforms To The Entertainment Industry.

W&R published on Jan 31, 2019: Mariah Carey Live In Saudi Arabia
January 31, 2019 (Full concert)
Middle East Eye
written by Staff
Wednesday January 30, 2019

American singer Mariah Carey is scheduled to perform on 31 January on the sidelines of the first international golf tournament to be held in Saudi Arabia, an appearance that has been slammed as the Gulf kingdom faces scathing condemnations over its human rights record.

Mariah Carey will be the first female Western singer to perform in Saudi Arabia since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman introduced reforms to the entertainment industry, including projects to build cinemas and an opera house, recreational events previously banned in the kingdom.

Activists and social media users have denounced Mariah Carey's planned performance alongside Dutch DJ Tiesto and Jamaican rapper Sean Paul in King Abdullah Economic City, north of Mecca, amid the imprisonment and torture of Saudi women's rights activists.

One such critique came from Alia al-Hathloul, the sister of detained activist Loujain al-Hathloul, who has become a symbol of Saudi women's struggle for the right to drive.
In a letter published in the New York Times, Alia al-Hathloul affirmed that her sister Loujain "had been held in solitary confinement, beaten, waterboarded, given electric shocks, sexually harassed and threatened with rape and murder."

Other Saudi women joined the call for a boycott, such as Ms Saffaa, an artist who lives in exile in Australia and uses a pseudonym for security reasons.
Some Internet users reminded the world-renowned diva of the war in Yemen and Saudi Arabia's responsibility in this conflict.
Translation: Poor Saudi Arabia! What has it become under the regime of MBS?! Mariah Carey, don’t forget to pay tribute to Yemeni and Saudi women

The Women for Rights in Saudi Arabia (WARSA) movement promoted an online petition entitled "Boycott Apartheid in Saudi Arabia".
The movement called on "artists, athletes, comedians, and performers of the world to stand in solidarity with the people of Saudi Arabia”.

“When the people inside are repressed into silence by brutal regimes, we ask artists and performers to support their rights to advocate freely and safely for freedom and rights, without fear of being imprisoned, tortured or killed by their leaders," the petition added.

International NGOs Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch recently urged Saudi Arabia to allow an independent investigation into recent allegations of torture and ill-treatment of human rights activists.

Amnesty said it had gathered new evidence from ten human rights activists who were "tortured, sexually harassed and subjected to other forms of ill-treatment" during their detention.

The Daily Mail, UK
written by Dianne Apen-Sadler
Friday February 1, 2019

A Saudi women's right activist is being regularly beaten, whipped and tortured in a 'palace of terror', her brother has revealed.

Walid al-Hathloul said that on a recent visit to the prison where Loujain al-Hathloul is being held, she told him that she was being tortured with electric shocks and sexually harassed, reports CNN.

Al-Hathloul has been jailed without charges since May 2018 for her activism, which included defying the kingdom's ban on women driving before it was lifted last year.

In an opinion piece for the news website, Walid revealed his sister had been taken from Dhahban prison, in near Dahaban, Jeddah, to a secret place known as the 'hotel'.

In the 'hotel' basement, she was subjected to torture as well as rape threats and death threats.

One fellow detainee was threatened with being thrown into the sewage system.

This treatment has been overseen by Saud al-Qahtani, one of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's top advisers, she claimed.

Walid wrote: 'When I think about what goes on in that basement, I feel sick. My own baby sister said she is being whipped, beaten, electrocuted and harassed on a frequent basis.

'She said that sometimes there are masked men who wake her up in the middle of the night to shout unimaginable threats.'

He went on: 'Whenever Loujain spoke about the torture sessions to my parents, her hands shook uncontrollably. I fear the pain will stay with her forever.'

Walid also said that one of his sister's torturers threatened her with rape if she did not marry him.

Qahtani, who allegedly oversaw Al-Hathloul's torture, is one of the men believed to have planned the October 2 attack on Jamal Khashoggi.

Turkish prosecutors are seeking royal court adviser chief Qahtani's arrest for the killing.

Walid wrote the opinion piece in response to the news that Mariah Carey had refused to cancel her concert in Saudi Arabia despite calls by women's rights activists.

Carey is the highest-profile star to perform in the kingdom since it began loosening decades of restrictions on entertainment.

But activists have said her concert is an attempt by the government to polish its image after the killing of Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Walid called on Carey to call for his sister's release on stage when she performed at the Saudi International golf tournament yesterday.

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