Rights group Amnesty International said on Monday that its website has been blocked in Saudi Arabia after the group criticised a draft Saudi anti - terrorism law.
"Access to Amnesty International's website has been blocked in Saudi Arabia... following the organization's criticism of a draft anti - terror law that would stifle peaceful protest in the kingdomˇ " it said in a statement.
Amnesty had on Friday called on Saudi King Abdullah to make changes to the lawˇ criticising provisions of a leaked copy of the law it said it had obtained.
Amnesty said that under the Draft Penal Law for Terrorism Crimes and Financing Terrorismˇ the authorities could detain people "potentially indefinitely" without charge or trial.
The legislation would also give the authorities power to imprison for at least 10 years anybody who questions the integrity of King Abdullah or Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Azizˇ it said.
"Instead of attacking those raising concerns and attempting to block debateˇ the Saudi Arabian government should amend the draft law to ensure that it does not muzzle dissent and deny basic rightsˇ " Malcolm Smartˇ Amnesty's Middle East and north Africa directorˇ said in Monday's statement.
While Saudi Arabia has not seen protests on the same scale as some other countries in the Middle Eastˇ activists have held demonstrations calling for reforms and the release of prisonersˇ especially in the kingdom's eastˇ where most of its minority Shiite population lives.