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Saudi Arabia: Women Seek Participation in Upcoming Municipal Elections

(Apr. 22, 2011) In April 2011, Saudi women activists wrote a memo to the designated authorities in the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs requesting rights for female voters and candidates in the upcoming municipal elections. Many Saudi women have opposed the ban imposed by the Saudi government on the registration of female voters and […]

Saudi Arabia: The Municipality Election

(Apr. 18, 2011) On March 23, 2011, the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs of Saudi Arabia announced that the municipal elections in that country will begin with the voter registration process scheduled for April 23 through May 19. The election will take place on September 22, 2011. This is the second municipal election that […]

Saudi Arabia: The Regime Invokes Sharia Law to Prevent Public Protest

(Mar. 10, 2011) In a declaration issued on March 6, 2011, the Council of Senior Religious Scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia warned against “deviant intellectual and partisan connections and anything that leads to disunity and fragmentation of the nation.” (The Council of Senior Religious Scholars in Saudi Arabia Prohibits Demonstrations [in Arabic], ASHARQ […]

Saudi Arabia: Sponsorship System for Foreign Workers Will Not Be Abolished

(Jan. 25, 2011) On January 21, 2011, the Minister of Labor of Saudi Arabia announced that the government has no intention of abolishing the sponsorship system in the Kingdom. Known as kafala, the sponsorship system includes a pledge by employers to physically and legally protect and financially support a foreign worker. However, the Minister stated […]

Saudi Arabia: Royal Decree Limits Authority to Issue Fatwas

(Aug. 25, 2010) In August 2010, King Abdu Al Aziz bin Saud issued a Royal Decree limiting the authority to issue fatwas (religious opinions concerning Islamic law) to Muslim scholars who are members of the Grant Scholars Association. The purpose of this decree is to prevent confusion generated by the issuance of fatwas by different […]

Saudi Arabia: Royal Decree Overturns Court Decision Against Female Journalist

(Dec. 4, 2009) On October 26, 2009, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia issued a royal decree abolishing a criminal court sentence of 60 lashes and a two-year travel ban against a female journalist, Rosanna Al-Yami. Al-Yami was sentenced for working at the Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. (LBC), which broadcast an episode of a television show known […]

Saudi Arabia: Marriage of an Eight-Year-Old Girl Annulled

(May 6, 2009) On May 1, 2009, it was reported that an arranged marriage in Saudi Arabia between a man in his fifties and a girl aged eight ended through a settlement brokered by a judge after protracted negotiations conducted between the girl's lawyer and the husband. The Shura Council, a legislative consultative body that […]

Saudi Arabia: Resolution Passed to Assist Children Suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder

(Mar. 16, 2009) The Council of Ministers of Saudi Arabia has issued Resolution 35/50 on assisting children who suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The Resolution is considered a landmark law in the field of children's health. The newly issued Resolution promotes the creation of more children's clinics and health centers specialized in combating ADD. […]

Saudi Arabia: Rights of the Accused

(May 2, 2008) The National Association for Human Rights in Saudi Arabia published a booklet in Arabic titled Know Your Rights, to inform people of their rights guaranteed under the Criminal Procedure Law issued by a royal decree on August 22, 2006. The booklet refers to 39 legal rights that an accused has in cases […]

Saudi Arabia: Woman Arrested for Having Coffee with Colleague

(Mar. 2, 2008) On February 4, 2008, Yara, a female financial consultant for a company in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was arrested by agents of the official Saudi Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Her crime was being in a Starbucks café with a male colleague while waiting for the electric power […]