Stories about Saudi Arabia from September, 2012
Can democracy exist in Islamic societies? This was the topic of conversation between Bahraini bloggers today.
Imprisonment without charges is the top human rights issue in Saudi Arabia. Families of uncharged prisoners, estimated to be around 30,000 detainees, took the risk to raise awareness about the cause, with a sit-in outside the al-Turfiya prison, near Buraidah. Here's how that sit-in was dispersed.
Saudi Arabia marks its National Day today [Sept 24] and young Saudis are celebrating the day in style. On Twitter, the day's events are tagged with a special hash tag #اليوم_الوطني, which translates to National Day. According to accounts on social media, young men took to the streets to celebrate the day, with dancing and street parades in their cars.
Saudi Arabia is threatening to block YouTube, if the latter does not block access to all the clips which lead to the 14-minute trailer of the movie Innocence of Muslims. Saudis, who have ranked first in worldwide YouTube views, overall, reacted to the statement with anger and sarcasm.
The Committee of Islamic and Judicial Affairs in the appointed Saudi Consultative Assembly supported suggestions to relax the requirements for execution and to give courts the right to approve infinite detention. The current law mandates unanimity in the national Judicial Council for death sentences, but the suggested amendment would allow death sentences to pass by a majority of opinions. Activists make their opposition heard on Twitter.
The third hearing session in the ongoing trials of two prominent Saudi human rights activists was held earlier today, September 8. Mohammad al-Qahtani and Abdullah al-Hamid, who are among the co-founders of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, are facing charges that include inciting the public to protest and impeding the country’s development. When the judge insisted on holding the session behind closed doors, the activists decided to leave.
"Abdullah al-Hamid turned the hearing session today into a lecture about the rights of the accused and the principles of justice. It will go down in history"