Saudi Elections Background Available | Freedom House

Saudi Elections Background Available

New York
As Saudi Arabia prepares for its first round of municipal elections on February 10, Freedom House has made available its latest report on the state of political rights and civil liberties in this important Persian Gulf country.

The report will be featured in Freedom House's forthcoming annual global survey, "Freedom in the World 2005." Saudi Arabia is rated Not Free and ranks among the world's most repressive regimes, according to Freedom House's rating system.

The report is available online.

As the Freedom House report points out, Saudi citizens "have no power to change the government democratically."

"While we applaud the Saudi governments very limited step toward broadening civic participation in politics, we are deeply distressed by the exclusion of women from the voting," said Freedom House Executive Director Jennifer Windsor. "Of equally great concern is a crackdown on freedom of expression, as evidenced by the sentencing and flogging of 15 anti-government protestors on January 11."

Data for Freedom in the World 2005 is available.

Since 1978, Freedom House has published "Freedom in the World," an annual comparative assessment of the state of political rights and civil liberties in 192 countries and 14 related and disputed territories.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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