No Country For Women Update

King Abdullah died at the age of 90 on January 23, 2015.  The throne has now been appointed to Salman of Saudi Arabia.  Despite the princesses father’s passing, they are still suffering through abuse and unfair treatment.  Mint Press News states,

“Abdullah’s sons were reportedly active participants in their abuse. “The princesses claim that their ‘half-brothers beat them with sticks’ and ‘yell at us and tell us we will die here,’” reported the New York Post in January. The death of King Abdullah offered no respite: “My father said that after his death, our brothers would continue to detain us and abuse us,” [Princess] Sahar told the Post just after his death that month.”

The princesses Twitter account (@FreeThe4) went silent in January and have since been deleted.  Additionally, contact with their mother has been limited.  Thus, their mother-Al-Fayez has feared for the worst.  According to Mint Press News, “Gender equality in Saudi Arabia is among the worst in the world, according to a 2013 survey by the World Economic Forum, which ranked the nation 127 out of 136 countries.”  One of the major platforms women and men alike have to spread the word on the country’s gender inequity problem is Twitter.  However, many social media accounts have been flagged and shut down.   Recently, blogger Raif Badawi is awaiting a 50 lashing sentence for his ‘offensive’ writings.  Badawi has been behind bars since 2012 for his blog, “Saudi Arabian Liberals.”

Mint Press News adds,

“While some Saudi women can enjoy the freedoms offered by modern technology, the recent absence of Sahar, Jawaher, Hala and Mala from social media is ominous, showing how easily newfound voices can be silenced once more.”

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