Sunday, March 30, 2008

Saudis block access to human rights websites

From Saudi Gazette:
RIYADH – The National Society for Human Rights is seeking to unblock some internet sites of some Arab and international human rights organizations, the Arabic daily Al-Watan reported on Saturday.

Dr. Saleh Al-Khathlan, head of the Observation and Followup Committee at the society and a professor of politics at the King Saud University, said the society had taken note of the bans applied to some websites like those of Human Rights Watch, Reporters Sans Frontiers and the Arabian Network for Human Rights Information.

Al-Watan quoted Khathlan as saying that the blockage goes against the Kingdom’s commitments as a member of the UN’s Human Rights Council. He added that those sites are committed to international standards regarding their online content.

He said blockage is in breach of article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – which states the rights of freedom of speech and obtaining information.

It is also in breach of article 23 of the Arabian Pact of Human Rights, adding that Saudi Arabia is the head of the Arab League’s permanent oversight committee on human rights, an image that the block might harm.
You'd almost think that they were trying to hide something....

I wonder if they are just as vigilant against porn websites?