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Alum's Saudi-imprisoned client Waleed Abu al-Khair shares "Alternate Nobel Prize"

Tuesday, October 9, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Libertelli
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Photo of Waleed Abu al-KhairIn her October 1, 2018 article, Saudi Arabia should be shunned by civilised nations for human rights violations, author Sumitra Nair heralded the awarding of the "Right Livlihood Award" to two Latin American and three Saudi activists. 

"The Saudi activists were chosen for 'their visionary and courageous efforts, guided by universal human rights principles, to reform the totalitarian political system in Saudi Arabia.' Waleed Abu al-Khair, co-winner of the Award, is a lawyer and activist, was detained and remains imprisoned because he defended Samar Badawi and her blogger brother, Raif Badawi, a human rights activist who criticized the Saudi monarchy. 

In her article, Nair interviewed Dan Arshack, '83, longtime lawyer for Waleed Abu al-Khair.

Here is one particularly blunt exchange:

Nair: With the young prince Mohammed bin Salman at the helm, do you think things will be different? Do you see hope for the three detainees?

Arshack:  No. The young prince has demonstrated his complete disregard for human rights. Non-violent activists throughout the country have been systematically rounded up and jailed and bizarrely charged with terrorism. Some are facing death penalty for calling for free speech rights and equality for women. The only thing that will make things different is when countries, as Sweden did, refuse to sell goods to Saudi Arabia and refuse to buy their oil. The dictator understands money and nothing else.

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