Arabia ambivalente

Una ola democrática parece estar recorriendo el mundo árabe. Incluso las tradicionales monarquías y emiratos árabes están cambiando a su paso. Kuwait ahora permite que las mujeres voten; Qatar ha iniciado un ambicioso programa de reformas; Bahrain ha dado muestras de tolerancia hacia manifestaciones masivas; y los EAU están permitiendo algo parecido a la prensa libre. Pero Arabia Saudita sigue desconfiando de cualquier tipo de cambio y por ello es un obstáculo enorme y aparentemente inamovible para una reforma que abarque a toda la región.

Si bien la familia reinante saudita, los al-Saud, está bajo una gran presión para seguir el ejemplo de sus vecinos, la resistencia interna a hacerlo sigue siendo muy fuerte. Así, los al-Saud han adoptado el rostro de Jano: volteando hacia un lado, la familia real alienta a los reformistas demócratas a que se expresen; volteando hacia el otro, los encarcela cuando lo hacen.

El 15 de mayo, en un juicio cerrado sin representación legal para los acusados, tres destacados reformistas – Ali Al Dumaini, un reconocido periodista y poeta y los profesores universitarios Abdullah Al Hamid y Matruk al Falih – fueron condenados y sentenciados a penas de prisión que van de los seis a los nueve años. Su delito fue hacer llamados por una monarquía constitucional. El veredicto oficial dice que amenazaron la seguridad nacional, desafiaron a la autoridad e incitaron a la opinión pública en contra del Estado utilizando terminología "extranjera", es decir, occidental.

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