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Saudi Shiites petition king for greater rights

[JURIST] Minority Shiites who make up about about ten percent of Saudi Arabia's population have petitioned King Abdullah [Wikipedia profile] for prisoner releases and equal opportunities a month after the new monarch in his first address to the nation [excerpts] pledged to "work for justice and serve all citizens without discrimination" [JURIST report]. The Shiites have complained about marginalization by the government and its links to Sunni religious conservatives who consider Shia beliefs to be heretical. Earlier this month, the King pledged to set up an independent human rights agency [JURIST report] to "protect human rights and spread awareness about them." Aljazeera has local coverage.

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