US says Saudis have right to peaceful protests

By REUTERS
March 8, 2011 03:27

 
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WASHINGTON - Saudis have a right to protest peacefully, the United States said on Monday after Saudi Arabia reminded its citizens that demonstrations were banned in the kingdom, the world's largest oil exporter.

Inspired by protests in other Arab countries, there have been Shi'ite marches in the past few days in the east of Saudi Arabia as well as Facebook calls for two more protests this month, the first on Friday.

"The United States supports a set of universal rights, including the right to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression," State Department spokesman PJ Crowley told reporters at his daily briefing.

"Those rights must be respected everywhere, including Saudi Arabia," he added.

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