A famous vision of reform in Saudi Arabia launched by Saudi opponents of democracy and human rights for the Saudi people challenges the authoritarian approach enshrined by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Prominent Saudi activists and intellectuals launched the famous vision at a time when Mohammed bin Salman was accelerating his repressive campaign inside and outside Saudi Arabia.
In the first roadmap, activists outline thirteen principles that form the foundations for Saudi Arabia to strengthen the rule of law and allow people to express their political views.
Their demands include the release of all political prisoners, an end to religious discrimination, and a guarantee of the right to political participation through “the presence of representative representation in an elected parliament” with “the direct election of the head of the executive authority or through representatives who the people freely elect.”
For far too long, the Saudi people have lived under a brutal, unelected monarchy that unfairly distributed the country’s resources and blocked democratic alternatives to authoritarian rule.
At the same time, foreign governments and global business interests helped entrench this repressive Saudi regime by selling extended arms to its rulers, doing business with them, and providing them with international support.
The result is a repressive regime: an unelected government that violates the most basic human rights of the Saudi people, including freedom of expression, association and belief and imprisons peaceful critics.
Likewise, the torture of women’s rights activists, the execution of hundreds of detainees annually without observing basic due process, and the waste of huge funds on absurd infrastructure projects such as NEOM.
Besides engaging in a brutal war in Yemen where indiscriminate and deliberate attacks are launched on civilians and an illegal blockade is imposed on the country, supporting autocrats across the Middle East and North Africa region.
Instead of the Saudi people being able to exercise their democratic rights, they are stuck under the absolute rule of a reckless and impulsive crown prince who is causing pain and suffering to millions inside and outside the country.
In response to the Saudi monarchy’s ongoing repression inside and outside the country, Saudi advocates for democracy and human rights are calling on human rights groups and civil society organizations worldwide to join their cause.
Human rights organizations assert that the presence of democracy in Saudi Arabia is necessary to protect rights and security within the country, as well as to advance democratic standards both regionally and globally, and to ensure that Saudi foreign policy reflects the desire and interests of the Saudi people.