March 18, 2011
Dissent in Saudi Arabia
In a letter to the editor published on March 18, Brian Dooley remarks on Saudi Arabia's crackdown on peaceful dissent:Read more about Human Rights First's work on the Middle East.
“Saudis’ Show of Force Spotlights Their Anxiety” (news article, March 15) thoughtfully outlines the strong and, at times, complicated relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia. It also underscores the need for the United States to make clear that it will not play favorites and give allies that stifle dissent a pass. The Saudis are using many of the same crackdown techniques that the Obama administration recently condemned after uprisings in Egypt and Libya. As these developments continue to unfold, the United States has a responsibility to call on the leaders of Saudi Arabia not to block peaceful dissent and allow people to exercise their internationally recognized rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. Protesters there are no less entitled to demonstrate peacefully than are those in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya or Yemen. This administration must not allow strategic alliances and economic ties to determine how vigorously it will support these rights.