Al-Mulla is a writer and poet in Saudi Arabia. He said today: "There
are many of the same issues here as in Egypt and Tunisia. About 70 percent
of the people are young and frustrated with no rights, no freedoms, no jobs
when they graduate. Our women's rights situation is probably the worst in
the world. After seeing others protest, people are becoming more aware,
more are connecting online. There have been small protests recently, in
various places and there's the call for big protests on Friday.
"The government is spending money to make people feel better, but it's
not about money. The government tries to divide people, Shia or Sunni, but
it's not about that. It's about the freedom to speak, it's about the right
to protest, it's about human rights. Some political prisoners have been
freed, but it is not enough. They have to announce a new, real kind of
change. The government got the Mufti to issue a fatwa against protests,
that it is against Islam -- but people will not follow this."
He added: "I just returned from a demonstration in Qatif -- 200
protesters demanding freedom and the release of prisoners held for more
than 16 years."
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