The not-so-new Saudi Arabia - Opinion

The not-so-new Saudi Arabia

Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2018 7:53 am

For all the hype about the “new Saudi Arabia” — women drivers, movies, clerics put in their place, cooperation with Israel — the oil kingdom is deeply conservative and brutally authoritarian. No one should confuse it with the land of the free.

A case in point is the death penalty sought by prosecutors for five political activists. Among the five is Israa al-Ghomgham, a Shiite in the majority-Sunni kingdom, arrested for a non-violent offense. If sentenced, she would be the first female human rights activist to be put to death in Saudi Arabia, according to rights groups.

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