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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776
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Saudi Royal Decree 44: ‘Atheists are Terrorists’


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The Saudi Arabian government has begun to issue a series of laws aimed at outlawing any activity loosely connected to terrorism — or criticism of the government.

According to a report by the “Human Rights Watch” (HRW) organization, the Muslim Brotherhood and two Syrian jihadist groups were outlawed as terrorist organizations. Saudi citizens were ordered to return home from fighting in the Syrian conflict within 15 days or face jail time from three to 20 years. The sentence comes in connection with the new “Royal Decree 44″ issued by Saudi King Abdullah which bans “participating in hostilities outside the kingdom.”

A new set of provisions added in early March further defines terrorism as “calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based.”

Recently two human rights activists in Saudi Arabia lost appeals in court following convictions for dissent and criticizing the government, HRW noted.

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