Last month in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, Mohammed al-Huraisi, a stateless street vendor, died after lighting himself on fire. His act of protest came after months of harassment and extortion by Saudi authorities, who refused to issue a permit for his a watermelon stand. So far, however, Mohammed’s tragic death has been virtually ignored by the international community, and the larger issue of Saudi statelessness remains virtually unknown outside the Gulf.
This post originally appeared in The National.
In the last few weeks alone, the country has seen summary executions, the bombing of a major university, and population displacement on a massive and growing scale.