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Concerned for stability, Saudi Arabia tightens curbs on dissent
By Sami Aboudi and Angus McDowall DUBAI/RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia, rattled by regional turmoil that has destabilized the Middle East, is intensifying a crackdown on domestic dissent, raising fears that a more open space for public debate that emerged in recent years is under threat. Social media, and what analysts describe as King Abdullah's efforts to foster a more open atmosphere since ...

Saudi Arabia jails lawyer and human rights activist in ongoing crackdown on dissent
Saudi Arabia must immediately release human rights activist and lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair, who was arrested following his fifth hearing at the Specialized Criminal Court on Tuesday and taken to al-Ha’ir prison without an explanation. April 16, 2014 Saudi Arabia must immediately release prominent human rights activist and lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair, who was arrested following his fifth hearing ...

Saudi reports new MERS death, infections in Jeddah
Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) (AFP) - A Saudi man has died of MERS in the western city of Jeddah, where authorities have sought to calm fears over the spreading respiratory illness, the health ministry said Wednesday. The ministry said five more people were infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, including two medics, all in Jeddah. The latest death of a 52-year-old brings to 71 the total ...

Saudi Arabia Tightens Curbs on Dissent Over Stability Concerns
Saudi Arabia, rattled by regional turmoil that has destabilized the Middle East, is intensifying a crackdown on domestic dissent, raising fears that a more open space for public debate that emerged in recent years is under threat. Sunni Islamists, Shi'ite Muslims, liberal reformers, atheists and human rights advocates have all been targeted through a series of arrests and new laws in what one ...

Saudi Arabia Seeks to Ease Concerns After New MERS Cases
The government of Saudi Arabia is trying to reassure its citizens that the most recent outbreak of a respiratory virus isn’t a cause for alarm following 16 new cases, including two deaths, reported in the last nine days.

Saudi renews demand for 'stern' world action on Syria
Saudi Arabia Tuesday urged "stern" world action against Syria after the regime's decision to hold presidential elections and its alleged use of toxic gas against civilians. Saudi Arabia is one of the main backers of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a civil war increasingly seen as a proxy battle between it and regional rival Iran. Syria's plan to hold elections is "an ...

Saudi Arabia: reported poison gas use by Syria is challenge to world
RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on Tuesday said the "grave news" that President Bashar al-Assad's forces had carried out two poison gas attacks last week was a challenge to "international will". Rebels and the Syrian government have blamed each other for the alleged poison gas attacks on Friday and Saturday on rebel-held Kfar Zeita village in the central ...

Saudi soldier killed in attack near Yemen border
Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) (AFP) - Suspected Yemeni smugglers shot dead a Saudi soldier near the kingdom's border with Yemen in the second such attack in less than a week, local media reported Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia imposes fines, jail terms for visa lapses
Saudi Arabia will punish people who employ foreigners illegally or break the terms of their visas, in an effort to encourage local employment. Punishment ranging from fines and jail terms to confiscation of assets and deportation may be imposed, escalating a year-long crackdown on visa irregularities that have been overlooked for decades. The Interior Ministry decision was carried on the ...

Saudi king replaces intelligence Bandar bin Sultan with his deputy Youssef al-Idrisi
Saudi Arabia's king has appointed a new intelligence chief, Youssef al-Idrisi, replacing Bandar bin Sultan in the key post, which oversees the kingdom's support for Syrian rebels.