"Most Saudis and some foreigners agree that King Abdullah has loosened the social reins restricting Saudi society since he assumed power in August 2005. Today, Saudi women are less subject to rigid sex discrimination in public places, education has expanded, citizens have greater latitude to criticize their government, and judicial reform promises more reliance on written law, and less on individual religious interpretation. Once taboo subjects, such as domestic violence, are now discussed in public. However, many of these changes--including improvements in the judicial system, fostering religious tolerance, and improving the lot of women--are superficial, limited in scope, and lack legal or governmental support. The government, for example, continues to punish citizens who criticize its policies or the royal family; Shia still face official discrimination; women are still tethered to male guardians for basic life decisions; and activists risk arrest if they use the internet to publicize abuses. Other areas have seen virtually no reforms at all. This includes, in particular, the position of migrant workers who work under a restrictive sponsorship system and lack adequate labor protections. As a result, it is unclear if the changes seen during Abdullah's five years in power will endure, and whether his legacy will ultimately prove to be one of lasting institutional reform, or merely a brief respite in the kingdom's recent history of social, political and religious oppression."--P.  of cover.
"This report was researched and written by Christoph Wilcke, senior researcher in the Middle and North Africa (MENA) Division of Human Rights Watch."--P. 50. "September 2010"--Table of contents page.
Bibliography, etc. Note
Includes bibliographical references.
Formatted Contents Note
Introduction Saudi rights reform: a contentious field Loosening the shackles on women Greater margin of freedom of expression Improving judicial fairness Religious tolerance at home Neglect of migrant worker rights Conclusion and recommendations Acknowledgments.
Also available via the Internet on the Human Rights Watch web site.
KMT2469 .W55 2010
Available in Other Form
Online version: Wilcke, Christoph. Looser rein, uncertain gain. New York, NY : Human Rights Watch, c2010