Remembering those who want us to forget

The nature of tyranny that has inhabited Arab countries since the fifties of the twentieth century, imposed harsh fates on those with free thought. They are betrayed by the official and government-controlled private media, prosecuted by the security services, subjected to deprivation of liberty, and subjected to systematic repression behind prison walls. And when they travel into exile to seek safety, some governments monitor them and threaten them with kidnapping, disappearance or physical liquidation if they do not remain completely silent. If other opinion exiles refuse to remain silent, liquidation threats can become a painful and sometimes bloody reality.
Between the 1970s and 1990s, the regime of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein tracked down its political opponents and condemned its bloody and bloody dictatorship among intellectuals and writers in their Western exiles. In the 1990s, during my university studies in Germany, I met many Iraqi intellectuals and scholars, Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, left and right thinkers, who were united by the fate of escaping the hell of a dictatorship at home and by fear of tracking. in exile.
The same was done by the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya when in the eighties and nineties he was involved in kidnapping some of his opponents abroad and returning them to Libya and killing them or leaving them in prison until his death. Thus, Gaddafi’s security services kidnapped, for example, opposition politician Jaballah Matar, who disappeared in the early 1990s in Egypt and is likely to be liquidated in one of Gaddafi’s prisons. Thus, he killed the former Libyan Foreign Minister, Mansour Al-Kikhia, who turned into a dissident in the eighties and was abducted in the nineties also from Egypt and executed after returning to Libya (his body was found in 2012 after the fall of the Gaddafi regime).
On the other hand, the regime of Bashar al-Assad was implicated in the first decade of the new millennium in the liquidation crimes of several opponents of Syrian hegemonic policies in Lebanon, including Lebanese politicians and writers, such as left-wing politician George Hawi and journalists Samir Kassir and Gebran Tueni, who were all assassinated in 2005. Other Arab regimes did not hesitate, such as the regime of former Syrian President Hafez al-Assad and the rule of King Hassan II in Morocco, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. pursued its opponents from exiled politicians, intellectuals and writers and tightened the screws on them, sometimes continuing to distort them at home and abroad and fighting them in their livelihoods and sometimes systematically oppressing families and relatives of those who remained in the countries.

There are many ways to remain silent, all of which appear in the vocabulary of the Arab regimes, from buying slander and conscience to threats and intimidation, and from deprivation of liberty to kidnapping and concealment and sometimes physical liquidation.

And just as the pursuit of opponents and those with other opinions in the country demonstrates the moral and political bankruptcy of Arab regimes that want only the submissive and intimidated citizen, the monitoring of opponents of exile manifests on the one hand, the vengeful nature of governments. that do not forgive those who say the word “no” even if they are thousands of miles away and on the other hand it is proven. Failure to comply with all international conventions and norms that provide security to peaceful politicians, intellectuals and writers. left their homeland and traveled for their personal safety and respect for free opinion. Saddam Hussein, Muammar al-Gaddafi and similar tyrannical Arab rulers were publicly declaring that their security services were pursuing opponents abroad. They were proud of their liquidation and called them degrading descriptions, like the phrase stray dog ​​that al-Gaddafi used when. referring to his opponents abroad. Soon, Bashar al-Assad and other Arab despots propagated at home the crimes of their security services to impose more submission and fear on the already subjugated and intimidated masses, without denying their involvement in the liquidation of their opponents. .
For all this, the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was not uncommon in the vocabulary of the actions of some Arab regimes when they got upset with their opponents and other opinion leaders abroad. Khashoggi, whom neither Western governments (the administration of US President Biden is an example) nor those of the East (the government of President Erdogan on whose land Khashoggi was assassinated) want to be remembered, was assassinated after writing critical articles about the conditions prevalent in his country and government policies. The man was killed during a period when official politics in Saudi Arabia was in the process of tracking down opponents and those with other opinions. The only thing allowed was full obedience and permanent support for the royal establishment and for the decisions of the government. The only thing that was permissible was the absolute restraint from raising questions, whether about the imprisonment in Saudi Arabia of academics, clerics and women defenders of human rights, or about the economic policies applied, or about the continued involvement to date in the war. against Yemen. .
When Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated on October 2, 2018, the Saudi royal structure, represented by the crown prince, was simulating a modern reformist government that recognizes women the right to drive cars, restores cinemas and theaters in the country and works to develop the economy seeking alternatives to one-sided dependence on income.oil. To consolidate and promote this modernist image, with the crown prince as its hero, any national voice questioning the monarchy’s commitment to reform must be silenced, while official politics continues to track down peaceful opponents and throw them at prisons at an accelerated pace. and insists on continuing the absurd and bloody war against Yemen. Since silence has many ways, all of which are mentioned in the vocabulary of the Arab regimes, from buying slander and conscience to threats and intimidation and from deprivation of liberty to kidnapping and concealment and sometimes even physical liquidation, some Saudi officials chose mostly. cruel way, which is the physical liquidation of Jamal, who thus faced a fate similar to that of Nefer. He is one of those who has a free mind throughout our country and has participated with many of our compatriots in the loss of the inherent right to a security. and a free life and the right to peaceful expression of opinion without fear of persecution, persecution or harm.

writer from Egypt

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