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Opinion | With our oppressors, Biden is repairing fences. He ought to pay attention to us.

Biden | Head of monitoring and communications for ALQST, a non-profit supporting human rights in Saudi Arabia, is Lina al-Hathloul. Cardiologist and health-tech entrepreneur Khalid Aljabri works in the US. Abdullah Alaoudh is the general secretary of the National Assembly Party and the research director for the Gulf area at Democracy for the Arab World Now.

We three shared a neighbourhood in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where we all grew up, but until recently, that was the extent of our shared experiences. Our backgrounds could hardly be farther apart: Khalid’s father had a top position in the Saudi government, Lina’s family cleared the path for progressive changes, and Abdullah was reared in a devout home with an esteemed scholar for a father.

It seems doubtful that our paths would have ever crossed if it weren’t for the whims of a despotic monarch. However, everyone of us has been profoundly impacted by a degree of brutality that is unacceptable in the twenty-first century, much as thousands of Saudis since Mohammed bin Salman assumed the position of crown prince.

Salman Alodah, Abdullah’s father, is being held inhumanely five years after being arrested for a single harmless tweet, and 19 of his family members are forbidden from leaving the kingdom. Due to their father’s association with MBS’s opponent, MBS has taken Sarah and Omar, two of Khalid’s siblings, as hostages and subjected them to torture.

After assisting in leading the movement for Saudi women’s ability to drive, Lina’s sister Loujain was tortured and is still subject to a travel restriction. Travel restrictions are quite rigorous for Lina’s family members as well.

Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi activist and contributing columnist to The Washington Post, was killed by the government four years ago, but MBS’s comprehensive assault on Saudi critics both at home and abroad has only gotten worse. We are now unified in our purpose to oppose tyranny as Saudi exiles, motivated by the plight of our families and fellow nationals of Saudi Arabia like Khashoggi.

We stand for a new generation in Saudi Arabia that is dedicated to creating a better future for all citizens. We are an active group that has seen the negative effects of being ruled by a small, is Biden olated, and very privileged group of people. And we appeal to the West, and especially the American government, to support our cause.

We see both optimism and danger in President Biden’s and other Western leaders’ statements about their dedication to forging a stronger relationship with Saudi Arabia. Relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia might be productive, but only if they go beyond blatant military sales and ambiguous human rights rhetoric.

Views about Jamal Khashoggi

The administration might get a better understanding of a geopolitical partner and reinforce the democratic forces that the president so frequently champions by actively interacting with dissident voices, many of whom reside in the United States.

We hoped that the president would bring up the instances of our families and the many other Saudi victims in public and meet with civil society leaders before to Biden’s July meeting with MBS. Instead, Biden’s acceptance of the crown prince, which was cemented with one-sided concessions, appears to have done little except strengthen the repressiveness of the government.

Salma al-Shehab and Nourah bint Saeed al-Qahtani received harsh jail terms from the monarchy in recent weeks as a result of their advocacy for fundamental rights. Following the approval of massive weaponry sales to the kingdom worth billions of dollars, the Biden administration launched its most recent assault on nonviolent dissidents.

Analysts and Western diplomats refer to Biden’s reconciliation with MBS as a done deal. Many contend that because of the rivalry we face from China and Russia, we cannot let Saudi Arabia stray too far from our circle. They emphasise the youth and social reforms of MBS and believe that keeping ties to him is necessary to ensure stability.

Biden But those who count on MBS to be a stabilising force will undoubtedly be let down. After all, this is the same man who, in a matter of short years, besieged discover qatar quarantine hotel list Qatar, allegedly kidnapped the prime minister of Lebanon, threatened and murdered citizens of Saudi Arabia and the West on Western soil, infiltrated Twitter to spy on alleged political rivals, started a disastrous war that has caused the worst humanitarian crisis in the world in Yemen,

which sparked a surge of persecution both domestically and internationally. We must not deceive ourselves into believing that MBS’s superficial liberalisation, which includes letting Saudis to attend music festivals, represents actual advancement.

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