I enjoy absolute freedom, says former dissident


By Mohammed Saud

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

RIYADH — Dr. Kassab Al-Otaibi, a former Saudi opposition figure, said that he had never been subjected to any threats during the years when he was outside the Kingdom. “I was neither imprisoned nor faced any travel ban after my return to the Kingdom. I am now absolutely enjoying freedom within the Kingdom,” he told Okaz/Saudi Gazette. Al-Otaibi said he had joined the so-called Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights, headed by Sa’ad Al-Faqih and Mohammad Al-Masari in 1994. “I spent with them a full year until I discovered malicious designs and hatred of Faqih toward Saudi Arabia. I also came to realize the extremist and sickening ideas of Al-Masari and hence I decided to abandon them,” he said.

Al-Otaibi emphasized: “The first, second and third lessons that I have acquired during my life abroad was about the precious value and sanctity of the Kingdom. There is nothing that a man can compensate in the place of his nation.”

He slammed the dirty campaign being unleashed by Al-Jazeera channel against Saudi Arabia, especially its coverage of the issue of disappearance of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi. “The vicious campaign against the Kingdom on the Khashoggi issue is a coordinated one, and the channel and its staffers are doing this at the expense of professionalism, objectivity, ethics and humanity,” he added.