A Saudi lawyer who defended activists says he has been hounded out of the country because he stood up for human rights. Now in Washington DC, Abd al-Aziz al-Hussan tells Marc Lynch this his situation is not unique as the government has launched a crackdown on those who dare speak against it. Lynch writes:
During a conversation in Washington this week, Hussan emphasized that this was not just a personal matter. He told me that his case was part of a broader crackdown on human rights activists, lawyers, and reformers. Since the sentencing of Qahtani and Hamed in March, he argued, the Saudi regime has been on the offensive against human rights activists and Sunni protesters. Activists and lawyers such as Fawzan al-Harbi and Abdulkarim al-Khoder have been harassed and interrogated, and security forces have arrested hundreds of demonstrators, holding many of them for weeks without access to lawyers. The Saudi government also appears determined to explore the possibilities for monitoring and controlling social media, particularly Twitter.