April 13, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Assange, Rome and the Saudi Kingdom's Murderous Laundry | Comment

Assange, Rome and the Saudi Kingdom's Murderous Laundry |  Comment

There are places where human time disappears and violence hides the voices, looks, bodies and stories those bodies carry. Mohammed Al Shakori had no teeth the day he was brought before the executioner. They were torn apart with pliers during violent interrogations reported by Amnesty International. A Saudi citizen sentenced to death for participating in multiple protests was beheaded along with 80 others by Saudi Arabia's murderous theocratic regime. A country that doesn't appear on the front pages for its massacre of civilians in Yemen, or the machine-gunning of Ethiopian women and children on its borders, or the trampled rights of its women, or its LGBT people and enslaved immigrants. by Human Rights Watch, but for his frenzied action “Washing the game“(whitening of sport), a strategy to enhance its image and external reputation through the dominance of international sports.

Formula 1, Dakar, Super Cup, Live Golf, acquisition of English team Newcastle are some examples of its dominant activity, which includes contracts of Cristiano Ronaldo for $200 million, Neymar for $150 million and Karim Benzema. Benzema for 100 million. A few months ago, the kingdom paid $500 million to Spanish John Ram, the current international golf sensation. He recently signed on as a tourism ambassador, Rafa Nadal, who told a surprised Spanish community that “in Saudi Arabia, everywhere you look, you see growth and progress, and I'm happy to be a part of it.”

The whitewashing of the regime's image began after the mutilation of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul shocked international public opinion. It was then that the world met a regime with bloody hands up to the elbows. America's loyal gendarmes routinely violate human rights with impunity, while, ironically, Julian Assange, who is in prison today, could be extradited to a North American country for, among other things, denouncing that country's systematic human rights abuses. He tells him. The mists of “good” and “evil” of an upside-down world reveal a grim cynicism from which a bare-bones reality is created for a theater of shadows, where the innocent and weak always pay the highest price.

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At times, football, which creates situations where oppression is rarely seen, turns its face to supplication, to compassion. Happened a few days ago. Roma fans display a flag in support of Julian Assange in front of Feyenoord. It may be a small thing, but inexplicable in the face of political and social involvement in this world of football, it is astonishingly enormous.

Saudi Arabia will continue its policy of aggression, turning sport into a weapon for the development of the country and whitewashing any form of opposition and repression it applies. Julian Assange faces up to 175 years in prison if extradited to the United States. It is known that it costs more to retract a lie than to manufacture it.

Journalist, VĂ©lez, former player for Spanish clubs and 1979 World Champion.