Saudi Arabia Blocks Amnesty International Website
| by Padmini Harchandrai |
According to the Amnesty International website, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia passed a law that would allow authorities to prosecute non-violent dissent as acts of terrorism. The site said that the law, "allows for a minimum 10-year prison sentence for ‘questioning the integrity’ of the royal family”. It also claimed that the law is designed more to suppress dissent, rather than fight terrorism. The Saudi Arabian government blocked the Amnesty International website as a result. The government stated that the claims were without foundation and criticized Amnesty International for not contacting the Saudi government with questions or for comments.
Saudi authorities ban the Amnesty International site
Saudi news agencies and Amnesty themselves reported that the site was unavailable on Saudi networks on Monday. However, some of Amnesty's affiliate sites are still up and Amnesty has posted the full Saudi law on its Protect the Human blog. Malcolm Smart, Amnesty’s Director for Middle East operations, said in a statement, "Instead of attacking those raising concerns and attempting to block debate, the Saudi Arabian government should amend the draft law to ensure that it does not muzzle dissent and deny basic rights".
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