The Saudi prince who was executed last week has been punished for his crime!
The reaction to the punishment was normal - people felt the rule of law and realized that no one was above it. Saudi King Salman is known for his “law purges.” After he assumed governance, he voiced support for every citizen’s right to file a lawsuit against any official, even the king and the crown prince.
This takes us back to the influence of late King Abdulaziz al-Saud in forming the character of his son, King Salman, and in teaching him about the judiciary and confirming its integrity and justice.
Researcher Ibrahim al-Otaibi narrated: “In 1919, a judge in Riyadh ordered a woman to return to her husband’s house. However, she escaped and sought protection at a prince’s house. When King Abdulaziz learnt what happened, he ordered the implementation of the rule of law or he would have personally gone to the prince’s house to get the woman out of there.”
After Imam Abdulrahman died in 1927, a man claimed that the imam owed him money and he demanded King Abdulaziz to pay his father’s debt. When the king demanded evidence, the man said: “Let’s go to the sheikh.” The king went with him to the house of Judge Saad bin Oteik following the dawn prayers. When the judge learned they were there to resolve a case, he did not host them inside his house but had them sit on the ground outside it. After he ruled in favor of the plaintiff, the latter left in satisfaction. Then the judge let King Abdulaziz into the house, telling him “you are my guest now.”
This is Saudi Arabia. Everyone is subject to the rule of the judiciary.
This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on Oct. 23, 2016.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.SHOW MORE