Saudi pro-democracy group's protest banned

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 22, 2010 19:36

CAIRO — A pro-democracy group said Wednesday that Saudi authorities turned down a request to hold the kingdom's first sit-in protest to demand political reforms, including a constitution and elections.

The Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association said in a statement that the Interior Ministry summoned the coordinators of the protest to notify them that their request has been rejected, without giving any reasons.The protest was scheduled to take place on Thursday in Riyadh.

The group's 20 demands include curtailing privileges of members of the Saudi royal family, fighting corruption and nepotism, and creating an independent judiciary.

Saudi authorities usually deal harshly with opposition but in recent years liberal-minded figures have been petitioning King Abdullah for reforms.


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