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Saudi Arabia

Yearbook 1997

Saudi Arabia. In October, all immigrants who did not have a residence permit were expelled. Hundreds of thousands of people moved home to India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Egypt, Sudan and Somalia. According to Countryaah, those who did not leave the country risked imprisonment and fines. After five days, 5,000 people had been arrested.

At the same time, the American human rights organization Human Rights Watch criticized Saudi Arabia for arresting, torturing and punishing foreign workers on false grounds.

Most international attention drew the death sentence against British nurse Deborah Parry for the murder of an Australian colleague in 1996. In October, however, the victim's brother accepted a pardon from Parry in exchange for just over SEK 9 million, a procedure the victim's relatives have the power to do under Islamic law.

Growing Islamism has given rise to violent acts. attacks against US military in the country. In January, the United States criticized Saudi Arabia for withholding information in the investigation into the attack against a military base in 1996 when 19 Americans were killed. No breakthrough in the investigation was reached in 1997.

The 1997 budget showed a surplus after the oil price stabilized at a high level. One faction wanted to spend money on military armament while another wanted to invest in social reforms to curb the problems that favored the Islamist opposition.

In April, at least 343 people, most from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, were killed in a fire at a pilgrimage site outside the holy city of Mecca. According to reports, 70,000 tents were burnt down.

1997 Saudi Arabia

During the annual stoning on the pilgrimage to Mecca, 360 people died, while 70 others died when their hostel collapsed.

In its New York Times column, US former Iraqi ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad declared in July 2007 that not only did Saudi Arabia do nothing to help Iraq; it also did everything to prevent progress in the complex problems the country was facing. He further claimed that Ryad supported Sunni partisans and suicide activists by granting them unimpeded the right to cross the Iraq-Saudi border.

The Economist Democracy Index of 2008 placed the United States ally Saudi Arabia in a 161 place out of 167 states. Reporters Without Borders placed it in a 163rd place out of 175. According to human rights organizations Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the 14 million are suppressed. Saudi women's and girls' rights, the 8 million. migrant workers and the country's 2 million. Shia Muslims. People are frequently arrested arbitrarily, subjected to torture or degrading treatment, and finally sentenced to trial, they are often subjected to arbitrary convictions. At least 69 people were executed in 2009, including 1 woman and 2 children.

2011 Repression and reforms

Saudi Arabia responded to the "Arab Spring" in early 2011 with repression and reform. All attempts at protest and demands for reform were beaten down hard and all protesters arrested. The reform demands were strongest in the country's easternmost province, which has a significant Shia population exposed to discrimination. In parallel with the repression, the king announced the implementation of a number of reforms. In 2011 alone, 37 billion was to be spent. US $ to create new jobs, on unemployment benefits, on education, housing subsidies, debt cancellation and a new sports TV channel. The King further stated that he would spend $ 400 billion. US $ on similar reforms and infrastructure projects until 2014. In September, he declared that women will have the right to vote and vote at the 2015 municipal elections. In January 2012, he fired the deeply conservative chief of the country’s religious police, replacing him with a more moderate mullah. In July 2012, the country announced that for the first time women would be allowed to participate in the country's Olympic team at the London Olympic Games. However, the ban on driving was still in force. In January 2013, the king appointed 30 women to the Shura Council, and in August, for the first time in the country's history, passed a law that made domestic violence illegal. Until now, Saudi women had no protection against sexual and violent assaults. The Saudi women's organizations welcomed the move, but at the same time expressed concern to what extent the law would be effective as long as the country's judiciary remained deeply reactionary.

 

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