Saudi Shoura Council to discuss draft anti-discrimination and hate speech law

A proposed draft law to be discussed in the Saudi Shoura Council seeks to make all acts involving contempt of religion, hatred or discrimination a crime. (SPA file photo)
Updated 03 November 2017
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Saudi Shoura Council to discuss draft anti-discrimination and hate speech law

RIYADH: Nearly 20 months after its introduction, the Shoura Council will discuss the anti-discrimination and hate speech draft law on Monday and present it to the members, Okaz newspaper reported.
This comes after demands from intellectuals and writers to discuss and approve such a law. The proposed draft law criminalizes all acts involving contempt of religion, hatred or discrimination.
The draft law, presented by a number of members including Dr. Latifa Al-Shaalan, former members Dr. Abdullah Al-Fayfi and Dr. Haya Al-Manea, is based on main objectives which include the criminalization of discrimination in all its forms against individuals and groups, and the prevention of derogation of individuals and groups due to color, sex, race or sect.
It also aims to prevent the spread of tribal, regional and sectarian strife or that which is based on intellectual and political classifications, in addition to protecting places of worship and preventing attacks on them, insulting sacred sites, or damaging historical symbols of identity.
The draft law would also seek to curb hate speech and help the government curb the discourse of discrimination and hatred.
The proposed draft law criminalizes the use of mosques and places of worship to incite hatred, while it provides for the referral of the extremists whose views lead to murder or crimes to the legitimate judiciary.
Some of those who presented the draft law justified the move due to the lack of a law that punishes discrimination between individuals and groups whose acts or speech could incite hatred and fuel violence among components of society.
They pointed out that its pillars are to strengthen the values of the Islamic religion and to combat extremism, preserve national security in the current political situation, and to prevent attacks on places of worship.
It also aims to protect the social fabric and the state against plots, challenges and endeavors that incite strife and division. It also aims to ban abuse of people on the Internet by rationalizing the use of social media.


Saudi Crown Prince meets Chinese vice premier

Updated 22 February 2019
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Saudi Crown Prince meets Chinese vice premier

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng at the Great Hall of the People on Friday before attending a China-Saudi cooperation forum. 
The forum was followed by a ceremony to sign agreements including those on petroleum, the chemical industry, investment, renewable energy and anti-terrorism.
Saudi Arabia is one of China’s top crude oil suppliers and an important market for its exports. Mohammed bin Salman is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping later on Friday.
The Crown Prince’s visit is the third leg of his Asia tour, which has taken him to India and Pakistan.