A PEOPLE’S VISION FOR REFORM IN SAUDI ARABIA

With Saudi Arabia hosting the G20 in 2020, we - Saudi activists, academics and intellectuals who devote our lives to improving our country - firmly believe that it cannot achieve the G20’s central objective of sustainable development without the real participation of Saudi society in each area of this work. However, in the authorities’ Vision 2030 for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia our People’s Vision is missing. It is therefore our pleasure to present the Saudi People’s Vision for Reform. It is an ambitious yet achievable blueprint, which expresses our goals and expectations and will enhance our country’s strengths and capabilities. In order to achieve the People’s Vision, we advise the Saudi authorities to take the following measures:

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Release all human rights defenders and other prisoners of conscience

 Human rights activists, academics, journalists and concerned citizens are dynamic agents of positive reform. Their protests, writings and advocacy for social and political reforms contri- bute to the prosperity and progress of the state to build a free, just and vibrant civil society.

Respect the right to freedom of expression

Freedom of expression is a crucial condition for individuals to achieve their full potential, and subsequently contribute to a thriving Saudi Arabia.

Respect the right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly

Human rights groups and other civil society organizations are instrumental to advocate the interests of the Saudi people. So are peaceful protests.

Protect women’s rights

In our vision, women – who form more than half of our population – should thrive. Saudi Arabia should therefore abolish the male guardianship system.

Ensure freedom of belief and combat all forms of religious discrimination

We are a people of many religions and beliefs. They should all be respected.

This vision centers around human rights and social justice

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Ensure justice in the law and legal system, and resolve arbitrary detention cases

In order to achieve a truly just society, our justice system needs to be fundamentally reformed.

End torture and other forms of ill-treatment that debase human dignity

Torture is an inhumane punishment and can never be justified.

Abolish the death penalty

Sentencing people to death is a violation of the right to life. There is no evidence that the death penalty is the most effective punishment to end crime.

Ensure migrant workers’ rights are respected

Migrant workers are of great economic value to Saudi Arabia. National labour laws should be refomed to ensure that migrant workers have adequate protection.

Bedoon rights

For decades, the Bedoon community have lived on the fringes of Saudi society. They should have the same rights as all Saudi citizens.

Ensure the right to political participation

We, the Saudi people, want to participate in formulating the future of our country.

Social justice and the fair distribution of wealth

In our vision, all citizens must be able to reach their full potential.
The country’s wealth and resources should not be squandered and spent for personal ends by particular individuals.

Ensure compliance with international humanitarian law in foreign interventions

The authorities must put an end to all forms of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in its foreign interventions, particularly in Yemen.