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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Amnesty charges Saudi Arabia of suppressing dissent

From Amnesty:
The last nine months has seen a new wave of repression in Saudi Arabia as authorities have cracked down on protesters and reformists on security grounds, Amnesty International said today.

In Saudi Arabia: Repression in the Name of Security, the organization says hundreds of people have been arrested for demonstrating, while the government has drafted an anti-terror law that would effectively criminalize dissent as a "terrorist crime” and further strip away rights from those accused of such offences.

“Peaceful protesters and supporters of political reform in the country have been targeted for arrest in an attempt to stamp out the kinds of call for reform that have echoed across the region,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s interim Middle East and North Africa Director.

“While the arguments used to justify this wide-ranging crackdown may be different, the abusive practices being employed by the Saudi Arabian government are worryingly similar to those which they have long used against people accused of terrorist offences.”
So we can expect to see major protests outside Saudi embassies worldwide. Because we all know that embassy protesters are motivated by a sheer love of freedom.

In fact, there was a notable protest at a Saudi embassy recently.
Protesters on Saturday sacked the Saudi embassy in the Syrian capital of Damascus after the Arab League (AL) decided to suspend the activities of Syrian delegation in the pan-Arab body, the al-Jazeera TV reported.

The TV footage showed angry protesters break into the embassy building in the evening, smashing the windows and sacking the embassy's properties.
OK, that's not fair. Surely there have been protests against the Saudis in other countries.

Yeah, yeah, I'm still not being fair. I found a real protest against Saudi treatment of women, this year, in the Ukraine. However, it is not suitable for work.