Saudi Arabia’s Degenerate New Law: Don’t Criticize the Leaders
May 17, 2011
On April 29, as Arabs throughout the Middle East were dying for greater freedom, the Saudi government passed new amendments to a media law banning all criticism of the country’s religious and political leaders. The amendments to Royal Decree No. 32, originally published in 2000, are “binding on all responsible persons in publishing” and demand “objective and constructive criticism aimed at the public interest and based on real facts.” Anyone who harms the “good reputation and honor” of government officials, the grand mufti, and members of the senior religious council will be imprisoned or fined up to one million riyal. Violating the media law can get one banned from publishing ever again.
“The new regulations are unbelievable,” prominent Saudi blogger Khaled Yeslam told me. “You can’t criticize anymore. That’s it. We don’t have any journalists anymore. We have advertising companies.”
Read the whole article at CyberDissidents.org.