The founding member of the National Assembly Party, Manea Al-Yami, was killed, informed the party members and a Lebanese security source. On Sunday, July 10, 2022, a Saudi dissident group said that one of its founder members had died in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. The National Assembly Party (NAAS) is a group of Saudi dissidents exiled abroad. It demands an elected parliament in Saudi Arabia and criticizes King Salman of Saudi Arabia and the Al-Saud royal family.
Yami was “assassinated in strange circumstances on Saturday,” according to NAAS. After hearing the news of his death, the party is trying to verify the details and is calling for an investigation. It stated that it held Saudi authorities accountable for failing to protect those seeking greater freedoms overseas and urged a “fair, clear, and transparent investigation” into the assassination.
At first, the Lebanese internal security forces reported that the 42-year-old Saudi citizen was stabbed to death by his two brothers in a family dispute on Saturday, but without disclosing the victim’s name. The two brothers were arrested the next day for the murder, and they are said to have confessed to the killing.
Later, it was confirmed by the Lebanese forces that it was Al Yami who was killed. The motives and the circumstances in which he was killed are still unknown. Although Al-Yami’s death was not reported by the Saudi Press Agency, In a tweet, the Saudi ambassador to Lebanon, Waleed al-Bukhari, applauded the efforts made by the Lebanese government “to unearth the facts and bring the criminals to justice.”
- Advertisement -
Yahya Assiri, a senior and another founding member of NAAS, based in London, claimed that Yami, a member of the Saudi Shi’ite Ismaili Muslim minority, had been residing in Lebanon since 2015. Yahya is a great human rights defender. He had been attempting to find a safe way to travel to another nation. He also adds that Al-Yami was “usually afraid,” he continues, “about being hurt, but he wouldn’t say from whom.”
Yami was a crucial figure in the development of NAAS in the year 2020. His activism was largely covert.
NAAS and its formation
Dissidents in Saudi Arabia found an opposition group to combat “violence and repression”. The group has pushed for constitutional measures to preserve the separation of the legislative, judicial, and executive institutions, as well as an elected parliament in Saudi Arabia. The group’s aim is the establishment of democracy in the kingdom. The first organized political opposition to King Salman’s authority was launched by dissidents in Saudi Arabia to stop “violence and repression.” The establishment of the National Assembly Party on the anniversary of the kingdom’s creation coincides with an increasing state assault on dissent and freedom of expression in Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy that does not tolerate any political opposition.
The party criticizes the Saudi government for its extreme actions that violate people’s rights; the rising number of political arrests for their political beliefs and assassinations; the country’s increasingly aggressive policies toward other regional states; forced disappearances; and the exodus of citizens. Party officials frequently cite the tightening media censorship in Saudi Arabia as justification for creating NAAS.
Relations between Saudi Arabia and the Gulf have recently been precarious due to many issues, including the opposition parties’ use of Dahiyeh, a region in Lebanon, for their activities and the holding of events. Another factor contributing to their tense relationship is Hezbollah’s expanding political influence, which is backed by Iran. Many Gulf states view Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Hezbollah hosts a conference for numerous Gulf opposition organizations.