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Social Divisions Hinder Saudi Rights Movement

Ideological and social polarization is preventing a strong Saudi rights movement from emerging.
Veiled women carry vegetables as they walk along a street at the neighbourhood of Shmeisy in Riyadh April 22, 2013. A royal decree in Saudi Arabia has shaken up the way in which the government allocates vast tracts of land, removing an obstacle to a $67 billion programme to ease the country's housing shortage. Picture taken April 22, 2013. To match Story SAUDI-HOUSING/     REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser  (SAUDI ARABIA - Tags: BUSINESS REAL ESTATE POLITICS CONSTRUCTION) - RTXYY39
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Amnesty International published an annual report on the state of human rights in Saudi Arabia last week. The report covered a large scale of human rights violations within the country; everything from women’s repression, migrant worker mistreatment, execution of minors, sectarianism, arbitrary detainment and torture was discussed. The largest section of the report, however, was in regard to suppression of dissidents and the detainment of human rights defenders within the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia is home to one of the world’s most notoriously oppressive regimes. A recent report by Freedom House listed Saudi Arabia as one of nine countries identified as the world’s worst human rights abusers. Several human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, have continually criticized the Saudi government’s absolute failure to respect the most basic of human rights.

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