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New initiative tackles lack of freedoms in Saudi

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A new initiative is being launched in Ireland in support of freedom of thought and speech in Saudi Arabia.

Citizens Without Chains (CWC) hopes to “disrupt the status quo, and begin to take the steps to realise these beliefs and change the social fabric, and in turn, the lives of the Saudi people”.

A number of Muslim scholars, rights campaigners and outspoken critics of the Saudi regime have recently been arrested in the Kingdom in its effort to silence dissent and quash opposition.

“The primary aim of the Citizens Without Chains (CWC) Movement is to reform the legislative framework of Saudi Arabia, to allow for the true civic participation and emancipation of all citizens,” the organisation explained.

Read: The campaign against Saudi preachers continues

“The movement … will aim to create a society which is built on the sharing of knowledge, ideas and culture, and which is protected by the rule of law to celebrate the diversity and freedom of these.”

Though the Saudi government has claimed that the arrest campaigns aim to secure the country against threats of “terrorism”, CWC does not believe this to be the case.

In spite of there being perceived stability in Saudi Arabia, this is at the cost of freedom of expression.

Instead, CWC calls for “a nation that does not live in fear of what their silence, let alone words might bring”.

The keynote address at the organisation’s launch event, due to take place in Dublin on 29 September, will be given by visiting Professor at the London School of Economics: Middle East Centre, Madawi Al-Rasheed.

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