Saudi authorities crack down on low-level dissenters as tolerance fades

from the Financial Times..

June 9, 2013, By Michael Peel and Abeer Allam

The mother of a prominent jailed Saudi Arabian rights activist has pleaded through YouTube for news of her son, one of a clutch of campaigners detained or harassed in a crackdown by the rulers of the world’s largest oil exporter.


Like their counterparts in other oil-rich and western-allied Gulf states, Saudi Arabia’s rulers have responded to uprisings elsewhere in the Arab world by targeting activists who have questioned the country’s direction or criticised its governance system of absolute monarchy.

But in recent months, Riyadh has stepped up a clampdown as their limited tolerance for dissent wears thin. Riyadh’s rulers have faced sporadic but isolated demonstrations in its eastern province and elsewhere, as well as increasing calls online for change in the autocratic and socially conservative kingdom, such as allowing women to drive and calling for action against corruption….

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