Although U.S. officials make the case that governments must permit independent civil society organizations, Saudi Kingdom's performance in this area has been dismal, and the U.S. has repeatedly failed to say or do anything about it.
Riyadh, America's nominal ally, has demonstrated that it is the more reckless of the two states, by executing an important Shia cleric and severing diplomatic relations with Iran.
I was raised in a Muslim family, in the Muslim cultures of three different countries -- Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. I grew up mostly in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a US ally with almost unconditional Western support, living there for close to twelve years.
Raif Badawi was honored with the award as a symbol of the fight for freedom of speech.
Lawyers for the jailed human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al Khair tried to deliver a petition to the king.
Apparently incapable of resisting the temptation to meddle in the Middle East, the Obama administration remains part of Saudi Arabia's ten-member "coalition" against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Alas, the entire campaign is built on a lie.
Giving human rights the "ignorance treatment" is far from a new approach for policymakers when it comes to taking a position against the perpetrating regimes. It actually follows a pattern that has occurred in relations with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia, just to name a few examples.
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Why does the Saudi government deny freedoms of speech, religion and political association to it citizens? As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, why does Saudi Arabia imprison a young man who committed no crime, who only created a blog calling for freedom?
The king has died. Long live the king. Saudi Arabia today is a medieval system whose horrid human rights practices match its antiquated political system.
Freedom of speech might be integral to the hard-won flowering of modern freedoms valued in the West, but its fragile bloom has faded and could die without proper tending by courageous politicians and media working in a global partnership to oppose Islamism and the Zeitgeist of political correctness.
'We Are All in This Together, Like It or Not': On Raif Badawi, Charlie Hebdo and Non-violent Islamism
Those who killed the journalists in Paris were followers of violent Islamist extremism. Those who lashed Raif are followers of non-violent Islamist extremism. The first kills in the name of God and the second violates in the name of God.
Amnesty International, in a statement sent to Reuters on Thursday, said Badawi's planned flogging on Friday will be suspended