Amnesty International has obtained a copy of a draft anti-terror law following its review in June 2011 by Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council, a government-appointed consultative body.
The draft law would entrench, exacerbate and offer a cloak of “legality” to long-standing oppressive measures taken by the Saudi Arabian government in the pretext of countering terrorism
Some of the most flagrant human rights concerns in the draft law include:
- Allowing for incommunicado detention of suspects for a potentially indefinite period and denying them the right to challenge the lawfulness of their detention;
- Allowing for the detention of suspects without charge or trial for a potentially indefinite period;
- A vague definition of “terrorist crimes” which is so broad and vague that it could be used to punish persons for peacefully expressing their opinions;
- Giving wide-ranging powers to the government without judicial oversight.
Click here to see an Arabic version of the draft law and a press release summarizing Amnesty International’s assessment of it.
The draft law may become a tragic reality for the people of Saudi Arabia very soon. We believe that King Abdullah, as head of state, is now the only authority who has the power to stop this assault on human rights.
Join our campaign and SIGN THE PETITION to demand that the right to freedom of expression in Saudi Arabia is not further eroded!
The Draft Penal Law for Terrorism Crimes and Financing of Terrorism is a serious threat to the legitimate exercise of freedom of expression and other human rights and must be radically amended to conform with international human rights law and standards.
Incommunicado detention and indefinite detention without charge or trial can never be justified in the name of national security or for any other reason. Measures to combat terrorism must not be used as a vehicle to criminalize dissent or criticism of the state.
We call on Your Majesty to stop the passing of this draft law and prevent the Saudi Arabian people’s right to freedom of expression and human rights generally being eroded in the name of countering terrorism.