An advance copy of a new PBS Frontline documentary, “Saudi Arabia Uncovered,” scheduled to air next Tuesday, March 29, has been made available to the Inquisitr for review. “Saudi Arabia Uncovered” was directed and produced by James Jones and is a Hardcash production for Frontline and ITV, as reported by PBS. British residents had access to a broadcast of a different version of a program covering some similar material with ITV on March 22.
“Saudi Arabia Uncovered” has been trending strongly with Google since the show aired in the U.K.
Loujain al-Hathloul, who named the third most powerful Arab woman in 2015 by Arabian Business Magazine, as reported by the Independent, was arrested and imprisoned without a trial, for 73 days, for simply driving a car across the border from Saudi neighbor, the United Arab Emirates, into her home country. Al-Hathloul appears in “Saudi Arabia Uncovered” and discusses receiving threats, as well as being perceived as a “hate figure” by conservative Saudis and a “hero” by progressives.
In the days following the release of “Saudi Arabia Uncovered” on ITV, Ms. Hathloul issued a blog post that described being released from jail in February 2015 after being imprisoned for driving a car, harassment and threats she has received, and her determination to continue living life in the Gulf Cooperation Council/Riyadh region. The Saudi activist, who is also an alumnus of the University of British Columbia, described the ITV documentary as “sensationalist” and “unbalanced.”
Facts presented in the PBS Frontline version of the “Saudi Arabia Uncovered” documentary include footage of numerous bodies hanging from cranes for public display, public floggings, public beheadings, and numerous instances of seemingly, mindbogglingly unnecessary violence directed at women on the part of Saudi Arabia’s religious police, the Mutaween, or Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.
“Saudi Arabia Uncovered” follows the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, as previously reported by the Inquisitr, the imprisonment and possibly pending execution of his 17-year-old nephew Ali al-Nimr, and the plight of blogger Raif Badawi, who, for the time being, appears to be spared more floggings and a death sentence but faces upwards of 20 years in a Saudi prison.
The PBS documentary also examines the shooting death of young videographer Ali Fil Fil as he filmed Saudi government crackdowns on minority Shia protesters in the kingdom’s eastern region, in Qatif, in solidarity with democratic Arab Spring movements, which began in 2011, as reported by Source Watch.
Ali al-Nimr was reported to have been arrested for taking part in demonstrations in response to Fil Fil’s death. Frontline presents in-depth interviews with both al-Nimr’s mother and father, as well as Raif Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, and their children.
Family members of al-Nimr and Badawi are depicted as having little contact with the men. Al-Nimr’s father can be viewed lamenting the fact that he could receive a call at any moment with the news that his son has been executed.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s current ruler, the sixth son of Ibn Saud, a member of the “House of Saud,” was responsible for ordering the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and 46 others early in 2016. While the new King, who ascended to the throne in January 2015, has been praised for following through on the monarchy’s promise to allow women to run and vote in elections, his policies with regard to the continuing use of seemingly barbaric methods of punishment in Saudi Arabia, as well as the country’s sanctioned treatment of women, have seen scorn heaped upon them.
The International Business Times describes “Saudi Arabia Uncovered” as laying “bare the regime’s atrocious human rights record.” The gravity of images of bodies hanging in the street and public executions, not at the hands of ISIS or some other terrorist organization, but at the hands of an ally of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and many other western nations, appears to not have been lost on many observers. Show times for the documentary are listed with the PBS Frontline website.
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