Arabie ambivalente

Une vague démocratique semble balayer tout le monde arabe. Même les monarchies traditionnelles et les Émirats changent dans son sillage. Le Koweït autorise maintenant le vote des femmes, le Qatar s’est lancé dans un programme de réformes ambitieux, Bahreïn montre une grande tolérance à l’égard des manifestations de masse et les EA permettent un semblant de liberté de la presse. L’Arabie saoudite cependant continue à se montrer soucieuse de tout changement et reste de ce fait un énorme obstacle immuable bloquant la réforme de toute la région.

Bien que la famille saoudienne régnante, les el Saoud, doive faire face à une énorme pression pour suivre l’exemple de ses voisins, la résistance intérieure à cette évolution reste très forte. Les el Saoud ont donc maintenant deux visages : Regardant dans une direction, la famille royale encourage les réformateurs intérieurs à s’exprimer et regardant dans la direction opposée, elle les enferme quand ils le font.

Le 15 mai, lors d’un procès à huis clos sans aucune représentation légale pour les accusés, trois leaders réformateurs, Ali el Dumaini, journaliste et poète célèbre, et les universitaires Abdullah el Hamid et Matruk el Falih, ont été jugés coupables et condamnés à des peines de prison allant de six à neuf ans. Leur crime fut d’avoir appelé à une monarchie constitutionnelle. Le verdict officiel établit qu’ils ont menacé l’unité nationale, défié le pouvoir en place et incité l’opinion publique à se rebeller contre l’État à l’aide d’une terminologie « étrangère », c'est-à-dire occidentale.

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