News24

35 Christians face deportation from Saudi

2012-01-31 10:46

Dubai - Thirty-five Ethiopian Christians, 29 of them women, face deportation from Saudi Arabia for "illicit mingling" after police raided a private prayer gathering, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday.

The New York-based watchdog said the women were subjected to "unwarranted strip search", while the men were beaten and insulted as "unbelievers".

The group was arrested on December 15 in a private home in Jeddah as they gathered to pray ahead of Christmas in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom which bans the practice of any religious rites except those of Islam.

"While King Abdullah sets up an international interfaith dialogue centre, his police are trampling on the rights of believers of others faiths," said HRW senior Middle East researcher Christoph Wilcke.

"The Saudi government needs to change its own intolerant ways before it can promote religious dialogue abroad," he added in a statement.

HRW said it spoke to three members of the group - two women and one man.

Unchanged glove

Those who were taken to court have been told that they were being charged with "illicit mingling" of unmarried persons of the opposite sex.

At Buraiman prison, officers forced women to strip and an officer "inserted her finger into each of the women's genitals, under the pretext of searching for illegal substances", HRW said citing the two women.

"She wore a plastic glove that she did not change," it added.

At the male prison, officers "kicked and beat the men, and insulted them as 'unbelievers'" the man in custody told HRW by telephone.

HRW said that Saudi Arabia has no codified criminal law that defines "illicit mingling", calling on authorities to release the Ethiopian men and women "immediately if there is no evidence to charge them with offences that are recognisably criminal under international norms".

It also urged Riyadh to investigate allegations of "physical and sexual abuse".

Comments
  • Godfrey - 2012-01-31 11:12

    If the Saudis never had oil they would still be covered with sand and desert files herding camels for a living. All of those Christians who hanker after a "Christian country" and want to constantly meddle in, and impose their creepy prejudices on, other people's lives need to take heed of the intolerance, suppression and terror of this perfect example of religious dominionism.

      jowza1 - 2012-01-31 11:27

      the saudi dictatorship needs to be overthrown soon.if the americans stop protecting those saudi despots,the people of saudi will overthrow them.the saudis cant tolerate opposing muslim views,what chance have other religions got.

      jowza1 - 2012-01-31 12:05

      werner,if all muslims have to bugger off to the desert,then all the christians and jews will have to follow,because all three of these religions started in the same area

  • Dirk - 2012-01-31 11:27

    If you said something in English, I may have responded. Those Christians are there because there is such a hunger for the Living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is the natural instinct wherever people are persecuted, including Saudi, where not even Bibles are permitted. Not unlike the rest of the muslim countries. They fear the truth

      Lanfear - 2012-01-31 11:35

      Live on in your dreamworld Dirk. Islam worships the same god of Abraham than you do. As does Judaism. All three these religions, i.e. islam, christianity and judaism, are Abrahamic religions and follow the Judaic god of the old testament.

      SarelJBotha - 2012-01-31 11:41

      Lanfear: Is Yahweh, the name of the only living God ever mentioned in the muslim holy books? Not as far as I have seen.

      jowza1 - 2012-01-31 11:57

      sarel.dont comment on things you know nothing about

      Lanfear - 2012-01-31 12:01

      Actually it is mentioned. And they do worship the same god. Do some research before you put your foot in your mouth Sarel.

      Dirk - 2012-01-31 13:44

      Three generations Very NB Not Abraham and Ishmael. You need to do the research. Islam worships the moon god- thats where their name comes from. Mohamed, the one with the 9 yr old "wife" claims to have been visited by Gabriel in the cave. That was not Gabriel- I knew that fellow for a long time. And lastly, the God I serve, goes by the name of Jesus, the name above all names.

      Gerhard - 2012-01-31 13:49

      Lanfear you should google Allah, the arabian moongod.

  • Martino - 2012-01-31 12:56

    What the Qur'an has to say about Jews and Christians: Here's a few scriptures: 9:29 - Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled. 9:30 - The Jews say, "Ezra is the son of Allah "; and the Christians say, "The Messiah is the son of Allah ." That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded? 9:31 - They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah , and [also] the Messiah, the son of Mary. And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him. 9:32 - They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah refuses except to perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it. 9:33 - It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion, although they who associate others with Allah dislike it.

      Martino - 2012-01-31 12:57

      9:34 - O you who have believed, indeed many of the scholars and the monks devour the wealth of people unjustly and avert [them] from the way of Allah . And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah - give them tidings of a painful punishment. 9:35 - The Day when it will be heated in the fire of Hell and seared therewith will be their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, [it will be said], "This is what you hoarded for yourselves, so taste what you used to hoard."

  • Martino - 2012-01-31 12:59

    Book 019, Number 4366: It has been narrated by 'Umar b. al-Khattib that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim.

      Gerhard - 2012-01-31 13:56

      Does Allah need your peace?

      Martino - 2012-01-31 14:32

      Gerhard, that is a quotation. Maybe I should have put it between "s.

  • Leroy - 2012-01-31 12:59

    my religion is better :P

      Leroy - 2012-01-31 13:00

      no its not, mine is!

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-31 13:08

    Its amazing how the western world simply accepts demands from islamic communities to accept and incorporate sharia law into our laws while back home the same rights are most definitely afforded Christians. the US should stop playing lap dog to Jewish concerns and attack Saudi Arabia instead of playing war with Iran

      BA - 2012-01-31 15:43

      Oh - this is all the Jews' fault? You moron. The muslims should take responsibility for their barbaric, violent, racist actions instead of trying to blame everyone esle.

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