TEHRAN – Saudi sources as well as human rights sources of various stripes have confirmed the reporting that the Saudi human rights activist, Esra al-Ghamgam, was executed on the KSA’s prosecutor’s orders on Sunday. Those sources include PressTV, Shia Rights Watch, and the (Shia) Young Journalists Association.
A video, which FRN is in possession of, but out of respect to the deceased, will not share, shows an executioner placing her in prone position on the ground before decapitating her with a sword, as security forces stood by. This was a gruesome display of the barbarity of the Saudi kingdom, mirrored in the identical practices of the Al Qaeda and ISIS outfits which they have been supporting in both global terrorism and in their war against Syria and Yemen.
Esra al-Ghamgam was detained, alongside her husband Seyyed Musa Ja’afar Hashem, during a horrifying security raid on their house in the mainly Shia region of Qatif in Eastern Province on December 8, 2015. She has been in prison ever since, and was convicted in the KSA’s kangaroo courts of crimes amounting to disrespecting the royal Saudi family.
In addition, citing the Twitter account, the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reported earlier that her detention had come in response to her “anti-establishment” activities. These anti-establishment activities include ‘sectarian’ activities, such as being a person of the Shia faith in Islam, in the Sunni, Salafist oriented state.
It was revealed to FRN that the activist used to take part in peaceful protests in the region in support of democracy and release of political prisoners.
Upon her verdict on August 16th, Shia Rights Watch was quoted with this official statement:
“Shia Rights Watch is extremely concerned as Israa al-Ghamgham, a detainee and a female Shia rights activist is sentenced to the death penalty for her involvement in peaceful demonstrations in Qatif.
Al-Ghamgham is the first woman to be sentenced to the death penalty and that raises the concern in regards to Saudi’s elevating Shia rights violations. The Saudi regime has arrested a number of women from the Eastern Province with political involvement accusations, including Naima Al-Moustoud, Fatimah Nassif, Nasima Al-Sada and others. Despite frequent arrests, al-Ghamgham is the first ever female sentenced to the death penalty.
Al-Ghamgham was arrested by Saudi forces with her husband, Musa Jafar al-Hashim, on December 8, 2015, after a raid on their home. Al-Ghamgham has been detained in the General Intelligence Prison in Dammam, where she has been charged with recruitment in Qatif.
Shia Rights Watch said that, “while the international community praised gender equality for female drivers, anti-Shia violence in the Kingdom has been long ignored. As Saudi women are given the freedom to drive and play an active role in society, Shia women are not only arrested for seeking freedom of religion but now punished with unheard of sentences for women in this Kingdom.”
Al-Ghamghams death sentences raised immediate concerns for women of religious minorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. SRW invites the international committee to take immediate action to stop al-Ghamgham’s sentence as it can open the door to more executions for women in Saudi Arabia.
The kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has been trying to portray himself as the champion of social reformation and a liberalizing figure. Yesterday’s execution stands as a stark reminder that ‘reform’ and ‘liberalization’ have been the KSA’s standard marketing towards western media audiences since the 1950’s. In reality, little progress has happened, and the gulf monarchy continues to justify itself upon their fact of existence. They were placed in power by the British Empire after the Ottoman Empire was routed from the Arabian Peninsula.
Back in May, he lifted the kingdom’s ban on female driving but shortly before it, Saudi security forces went on an arrest spree of female activists, including some of the people who had supported the removal of the ban.
The campaigners are reportedly still behind bars, with both the arrests and continued detentions drawing outspoken criticism from international rights groups.
Esra al-Ghamgam will now in all likelihood be considered a martyr within Shia communities around the world. Her work and memory will live on as an example to resistance to the brutal and greedy Saudi monarchy, who are renown for their subservience to the United States and Israel, and their betrayal of Pan-Arab nationalist, socialist, and anti-imperialist Shia movements in the Middle-East and Levant.
UPDATE: A.) As of 7:30pm, GMt+2, the validity of the report stands. The KSA authorities have done nothing to counter the apparently valid reports from Iranian and Shia press. Proof of life would suffice, and we will retract the article. RIP Esra al-Ghamgam.
B.) On the morning of August 21st, GMT+2, we updated this article with the following notice. However, as of 7:15pm GMT+2, the story’s validity regretfully stands.
C.) <<*DESPITE THREE DECENT SOURCES REPORTING ON THIS, WE ARE PRESENTLY AWAITING CONFIRMATION FROM FURTHER SOURCES. IT HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO OUR ATTENTION AS OF 3:00am GMT+2 THAT THE THREE LISTED SOURCES MAY HAVE BEEN IN ERROR. THIS IS UNCLEAR TO US AT THIS TIME. CHECK FRN FOR FURTHER UPDATES. WE WILL PRINT A RETRACTION IF NEW FACTS POINT US THAT WAY*>>