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The Line in Neom: Controversial Details Surrounding the Saudi Government’s Urban Megaproject

The government has $500,000 million Saudi Arab It has been contemplated to build an urban megaproject named neom,

This is an initiative that is part of its “Saudi Vision 2030” program Wants to expand its economy and make it less dependent on oil,

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Under this scheme, It is called a futuristic city LineWhich they promise will be ecological as it is completely powered by renewable energy.,

As its name suggests, It will have a linear format and will not contain roads or cars that could generate emissions.,

However this ambitious megaproject has attracted international attention due to its technical and structural implications Several allegations have been made against the Saudi government and dozens of international companies working on its construction.,

Why does the city of the future being built in Saudi Arabia worry organizations protecting human rights? Photo: The Line/Neom.

one of them was recently executed Colonel Rabih Alenzi, a former local intelligence officer,

in conversation with BBC, He assured that he had been ordered to evict the villagers of the Huwaytat tribe, who lived in the area of ​​the desert through which the line would pass.,

As detailed, In 2020 he told her that they were a group of “many rebels” and that “anyone who continues to resist must die”.,

According to his story, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “authorized the use of lethal force against anyone living in his household”.,

That same year, A man named Abdul Rahim Al Huwaiti, who shared protest videos on networks, was shot during the eviction,

from saudi intelligence service He told at that time that they attacked the security forces with armed forces, so they had to open fire. Against him.

still, The United Nations Organization (UN) and various groups protecting human rights assured that the damage was caused by the fact that they refused to leave the area. In which he lived.

despite receiving orders Alenzi told the aforementioned media that he did not participate in the operation, as he discovered that he had health problems that prevented him from doing so.,

After working for Saudi intelligence, He went into exile in the United Kingdom, where he has lived since 2023.,

During preparations for the construction of The Line – which is 170 kilometers long, 200 meters wide and 500 meters high – According to government figures, more than 6,000 people have been displaced,

However, from ALQST, a human rights organization based in the British territory, They believe this figure is higher,

On the other hand, data from the United Nations and the above group confirm this There were at least 47 prisoners during the evacuation,

Out of that number, 40 are still in prison and five are expected to be sentenced to death.ALQST told the BBC.

And although the Saudi government says it has offered compensation to those who have had to relocate, the latter alleges the amount paid is far less than promised.According to ALQST representatives.

for its part, Two senior executives who worked on projects for Neom criticized the efforts,

One of them, Andy Wirth, said that he never clarified his doubts regarding the subject and alleged: “It just felt like something terrible had been imposed on these people (…) You can’t step on their neck to move forward.”

Another, Malcolm O., suggested the megaproject. “It might be good for some high-tech people living in that area, but what about the rest of us?”,

faced charges, The Saudi government and Neom management declined to comment. For the above medium. Meanwhile, the project continues.

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