London: Leading Saudi dissident attacked

Published June 23rd, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

The head of a British-based Saudi Arabia opposition movement has suffered leg wounds after an assault, it was reported Monday by the British press. 


Dr. Saad al-Fagih, head of the London-based Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia (MIRA), required hospital treatment after the attack, police sources said. A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Police and ambulance were called at 10.45pm yesterday to an address in Willesden, north west London, following a report of an altercation in the street. 


"Ambulance attended and took the victim - a man in his 40s - to a London hospital suffering a leg wound." 


Fagih's injuries are not believed to be life threatening and police inquiries are continuing. Scotland Yard said the incident was an assault and added that an item had been recovered from the scene. 


Faqih told the BBC that two men claiming to be plumbers knocked on his door and then forced their way into his home. He said he had received recent warnings of a plan to abduct or kill him.  


Mohammed al-Masari, a friend of al-Faqih, said the attackers sprayed him with something to make him drowsy. "A fight ensued and Faqih grabbed a table to defend himself and then the two men knifed him," al-Masari told Reuters.  


"As they were going away, they said: 'take that as a message from the Saudi Government'."  


MIRA seeks major reforms in Saudi Arabia, including freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and the abolition of the secret police units subverting political movements and activity. (

© 2003 Al Bawaba (

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