National Post (Latest Edition)

SAUDI DISS IDENTS FORM NEW PARTY IN FREE- SPEECH BID

- Society · Middle East News · Politics · Elections · The Gulf Cooperation Council · Saudi Arabia · London · National Assembly of South Korea

A dar­ing new po­lit­i­cal party founded by ex­iled Saudi ac­tivists is chal­leng­ing the coun­try’s rulers with a cam­paign to bring free speech and democ­racy to the ul­tra­con­ser­va­tive Gulf state. The Na­tional Assem­bly Party, founded by a band of Saudi artists, schol­ars and dis­si­dents, has called for an end to po­lit­i­cal re­pres­sion in the king­dom and hopes to be­come Saudi Arabia’s de facto op­po­si­tion. Pro­fes­sor Madawi al- Rasheed, the party’s Lon­don-based spokes­woman, said the num­ber of Saudi dis­si­dents liv­ing abroad has reached a “crit­i­cal mass” and that the group now plans to unite them as a pro-democ­racy move­ment. “This party builds on the ac­tive will of a gen­er­a­tion of Saudis who have called for po­lit­i­cal and civil re­form, rather than cos­metic re­form,” she said.

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