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Indonesia; Saudi Arabia: Defense Cooperation Agreement Signed

(Jan. 29, 2014) On January 23, 2014, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia signed their first agreement on cooperation in defense matters. It was signed by Indonesia’s Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin, a retired Lieutenant General from the Defense Ministry, and the Saudi Deputy Defense Minister, Prince Salman bin Sultan Abdul Aziz Al Saud. The pact has provisions on military […]

Saudi Arabia: New Regulation on Protection Against Abuse

(Sept. 10, 2013) On August 26, 2013, the Council of Ministers of Saudi Arabia approved the Regulation to Protect Against Abuse, which has the force of law. A copy of the Regulation, in Arabic, is available on the website of the National Society of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia.   Under article 1 of this […]

Saudi Arabia: Draft Law to Punish Individuals Who Use Social Media to Attack Islam

(Aug. 1, 2012) On July 15, 2012, the Shura Council, also known as the Consultative Assembly, a body that advises the King of Saudi Arabia on legislative matters, announced that it is drafting a law to combat individuals who criticize Islam and Islamic law through the use of blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. The law will […]

Saudi Arabia: Council of Ministers Approves Several Laws Regulating Real Estate Mortgage System

(July 12, 2012) On July 2, 2012, the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia approved five laws organizing the lending process, loan purchase and sale transactions, mortgage registration, and foreclosure for real estate. The executive regulations for these laws will be issued 90 days from the publication of the laws in the […]

Saudi Arabia: Scholar States Churches Must Be Destroyed

(Mar. 19, 2012) In response to a question on March 11, 2012, the highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abd al-Aziz Al-Asheikh, Mufti and Chairman of the Supreme Council of Ulama (legal scholars), stated that all churches in the Arab Peninsula must be destroyed. The question was apparently from an al-Anba [an Arabic-language, Kuwaiti […]

Malaysia; Saudi Arabia: Journalist Deported to Face Blasphemy Charges

(Feb. 17, 2012) On February 9, 2012, the police in Malaysia detained a journalist from Saudi Arabia, Hamza Kashgari; on February 12 he was sent back to Saudi Arabia. Kashgari had landed at the international airport at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and the detention was pursuant to a request made through Interpol by the Saudi […]

Saudi Arabia: King Overturns a Woman’s Lashing Sentence

(Oct. 4, 2011) On September 29, 2011, the King of Saudi Arabia granted a reprieve to a female driver who had been sentenced by a Saudi court to the punishment of ten lashes. The court had found the woman guilty of challenging the ban imposed on women drivers. Traffic regulations in Saudi Arabia prohibit women […]

Saudi Arabia: Arrest of Woman for Driving

(June 2, 2011) Manal al-Sharif, a Saudi woman, was arrested in Dammam on May 21, 2011, for posting a clip on YouTube showing her driving a car. Dammam is the largest city of the oil-rich Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi authorities held a press conference the same day to address the issue of […]

Saudi Arabia: Call for a Boycott of Municipal Elections

(May 5, 2011) In a petition published on the Internet, 67 Saudi activists, journalists, and intellectuals called for a boycott of the upcoming Saudi municipal council elections scheduled for September 22, 2011. The signatories stated that they call on all those who are qualified to participate as candidates or voters to join them in the […]