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Call for Saudi Arabia to free jailed reformists

December 30, 2011
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CAIRO—Human Rights Watch is calling on Saudi authorities to release scores of political reform advocates jailed in the conservative Muslim kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has not seen unrest on the scale of other nations roiled by the Arab Spring. But some demonstrations have taken place, particularly in areas home to the Shiite Muslim minority that has complained for decades about a lack of rights.

The government banned all public protests in March.

The rights group says authorities arrested 60 men and women who took part in a silent protest in the capital, Riyadh, on Dec. 23. They were protesting the jailing of cleric Yusuf al-Ahmad, who was arrested in July after expressing support for families of detainees.

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