New law to be used against terror says Saudi
Jeddah, July 24, 2011
Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Britain has denied charges by Amnesty International that a planned anti-terrorism law will be used to stifle dissent and prevent pro-democracy protests.
'Amnesty International's reference that this planned law will be used against what it describes as opposition rather than terrorists is wrong,' said Nawaf bin Abdulaziz in a statement carried on the official SPA news agency.
Amnesty International accused Saudi Arabia on Friday of planning a crackdown on public dissent with new anti-terror legislation that it said was a cover to stop further pro-democracy protests in the monarchy.
'There have been many terrorist actions before... which resulted in the death of dozens of people and the spread of terror,' the ambassador's statement said.
'Today, the eradicating of these (terror) cells is largely due to the efforts by the Saudi security forces. Despite that, the regional turmoil has provided a fertile ground for new threats,' he added.
The draft published by Amnesty gives wide-ranging powers to the Interior Minister to take action to protect internal security, without requiring judicial authorisation or oversight. - Reuters