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U.S. Says Saudis Have Right To Peaceful Protests

The United States says Saudis have a right to protest peacefully.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the "United States supports a set of universal rights, including the right to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression."

His comments come after the Saudi Interior Ministry reminded its citizens that demonstrations were banned in the kingdom, the world's largest oil exporter.

Inspired by protests in other Arab countries, there have been Shi'ite marches in the past few days in the east of Saudi Arabia, as well as Facebook calls for two more protests this month, the first on March 11.

compiled from agency reports