A group of reform activists has published an open letter to King Abdullah, asking him to ensure public and fair trials for alleged terrorists and demanding other judicial and political reforms. The group, called “Advocates of Constitutional Reforms, Civic Society and Human Rights” (ACRCSHR), is currently trying to collect signatures from the public. So far, 37 persons have signed the letter.
Supporting the alleged terrorists’ right to a public, fair trial is a noble call, but I wonder if associating other reform demands with this call is a good strategy. I heard many reformists accuse the government of practicing political opportunism when they deal with different groups in the country, but isn’t this kind of association similar to these practices?
One activist said the letter signals the end of a stage that witnessed a cautious flirtation between the king and the reformists. The letter boasts a strong language, but is it going to make any difference? Some people think that the era of statements and open letters is over.
If I sound skeptical, it is because I am. The glacial pace of progress the country has made over the past few years is not exactly a good reason to get all excited over anything. What many leaders in the government and outside it don’t seem to realize is that more and more young people are being left frustrated and now are considering leaving the country to pursue their dreams away from here.
- Living in KSA: من وحي بيان الدستوريين الأخير