A Saudi citizen Abdul Rahim al-Hwaiti was allegedly shot dead after he refused to give up his property for a Red Sea mega-project.
A Saudi citizen who refused government orders to give up his home to make way for a new mega-project was killed by security forces, Aljazeera News according to Saudi activists.
The man, who identified himself as Abdul Rahim Ahmad Mahmoud al-Hwaiti, said in a video posted online he was from the town of al-Khraybah in the northwest Red Sea region. He and other residents were being pressured by the government to give up their properties and accept financial compensation, he said.
Al-Hwaiti said in one video uploaded on YouTube that “anyone who refuses to leave the area would be arrested by government agents”. He called the government’s move “forced displacement”.
“This is my home,” he said, adding he would not move elsewhere in Saudi Arabia because he considers his tribal area his “own homeland”.
Al-Hwaiti said residents of the area do not want to be uprooted but are now living in fear because of what security forces might do to them.
“Nine people from my area have been arrested so far and I am sure I will be next – or even killed,” he said in one video. “I am sure if they kill me they would put weapons around my body and claim I was a terrorist.”
According to Saudi activists, al-Hwaiti was shot dead after recording his last video documenting security forces storming his property.
The Saudi government has not commented on the alleged killing. Calls to two government officials seeking comment rang unanswered on Wednesday.
Al-Hwaiti hails from the powerful al-Huwaitat tribe who are based in three countries: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the Sinai in Egypt. The al-Huwaitat have resided in the region for more than 800 years, predating the Saudi state itself by many centuries over.