Friday, April 27, 2012

Saudi Arabia: Abolish Terrorism Court

Court Tries Peaceful Reformers, Critics in Unfair Proceedings

April 27, 2012

"(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia should abolish the Specialized Criminal Court, set up in 2008 to try terrorism cases, but increasingly used to try peaceful dissidents and rights activists on politicized charges and in proceedings that violate the right to a fair trial, Human Rights Watch said today. In April, it sentenced two people to prison for their peaceful activism, and the trials of at least four others are ongoing, in violation of their rights to freedom of expression.

Trying Saudi political activists as terrorists merely because they question abuses of government power demonstrates the lengths the Saudi government will go to suppress dissent,” said Christoph Wilcke, senior Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The trial of peaceful reformers in a terrorism court underlines the political nature of this court.”

The charges against the rights activist and the dissident do not allege that they used or propagated violence....."

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