US says Saudis have right to peaceful protests

Published: March 8, 2011

"The United States supports a set of universal rights, including the right to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression."

WASHINGTON: Saudis have a right to protest peacefully, the United States (US) said on Monday after Saudi Arabia reminded its citizens that demonstrations were banned in the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter.

Inspired by protests in other Arab countries, there have been Shi’ite marches in the past few days in the east of Saudi Arabia as well as Facebook calls for two more protests this month, the first on Friday.

“The United States supports a set of universal rights, including the right to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression,” State Department spokesman PJ Crowley told reporters at his daily briefing.

“Those rights must be respected everywhere, including Saudi Arabia,” he added.

While the US ally has by no means faced protests of the scale that toppled veteran authoritarian leaders in Egypt and Tunisia, dissent has built up as unrest has spread in Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, Libya and Oman.

The Saudi interior ministry on Saturday issued a statement saying that security forces would stop all attempts to disrupt public order and noting that “the kingdom’s regulations totally ban all sorts of demonstrations, marches, sit-ins.”

Crowley said the United States had regularly conveyed its belief in civil liberties to Saudi Arabia but did not know if it had done so since the ministry’s weekend statement.

 

Reader Comments (7)

  • Hammad Ali
    Mar 8, 2011 - 3:31PM

    Makes sense.

    US always wants other countries to be unstable so that they can easily meddle into their affairs.Recommend

  • Hunter
    Mar 8, 2011 - 5:07PM

    yah it figures every thing for US starts with peace, end running with america running tails between its legs.

    There are many examples of america’s peace strategy like it bombed vietnam,iraq, afghanistan and now pakistan.

    Now I will say this is 4th generation wars in which you can topple the govt using its own people.
    no need of soldiers Recommend

  • G. Din
    Mar 8, 2011 - 6:55PM

    @Hunter:
    “Now I will say this is 4th generation wars in which you can topple the govt using its own people.
    no need of soldiers”

    You mean all those “own people” are zombies under the control of US? They have no will of their own and can be manipulated? Either you have a very dim view of the intelligence of your fellow Muslims (because it is mostly them), or too exaggerated a view of your own!Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Mar 9, 2011 - 12:24PM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.The most rubbish,nonsensical,funny and ridiculous statement given by USA that Saudis have only right for peaceful protests.Now US officials shall set the parameters for the others to protest whereas when USA wants to protest against any country then USA imposes economic sanctions against that country,deploy its troops in that country’s territory for military operations and kill that country’s natives on the name of fake self-defense and then applies for diplomatic immunity.What the time has come on the Muslim countries and on their leaders?Now Muslim countries.their leaders and their nations shall protest in the light of parameters set by US officials.Recommend

  • mohammad iqbal
    Mar 9, 2011 - 3:21PM

    slowly but steadily, the americans have reached the holiest land for muslims. They are now advocating peaceful protests by saudis. I can only say that the brain working on this particular project is a Jew, who will plan a bloodshed in the two holy cities Mekkah and Medina. Although the idea may not materialize, it will distance the muslims from americans who are playing other’s game on other’s soil with other’s help. Jewish lobby which is working on a long term plan to divide the muslim states into further fragments will be too willing to invest in american banks.Recommend

  • G. Din
    Mar 10, 2011 - 4:14AM

    @mohammad iqbal:
    “…I can only say that the brain working on this particular project is a Jew, who will plan a bloodshed in the two holy cities Mekkah and Medina. Although the idea may not materialize, …”
    It is not necessary for Jews or any non-Muslim(s) to plan “bloodshed in the two holy cities Mekkah and Medina”, that is what Muslims have done and will do on their own. Remember when Iranians sent a posse and attacked those very sites some years back?Recommend

  • Javaid
    Mar 11, 2011 - 10:27AM

    @G.Din
    First go and catch those Snipers who target killed Hemant Karkare sitting on tall building and his assitant. Giving bashan is the easiest thing to do. Does anyone listen to people like you? No, I don’t think so. Go clean up the mess of Naxals, Mumbai as inside Job, and all those hidden Hindu RSS Terrorists and facists who are yet hiding in Congress. Capturing Pawns won’t make any difference. Miscreant Col. Prohit can never do it unless he has backing from above. Moreover., there are yet lots to deal with insurgencies in NE and NW in your own country. Go have fun with them and throw your venom right there. They might entertain you. We don’t need you. Good Luck. :)Recommend

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