It started when King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died, and I hinted on Twitter to some of the abysmal human rights abuses that were happening under his power.
Scroll down the page in that link to see the replies. Some are quite pitiful. They speak for themselves. Freedom of speech is something quite alien to the Saudi citizens, or the ones who responded to me, at least.
For examples of Saudi human rights violations, see this page on Human Rights Watch. They include a ban on women driving, flogging bloggers who criticise the country and a death sentence for a Shia cleric on vague charges of “liberal writing.” Even the largely liberal broadsheet The Guardian had some stern words to say about the deceased king and his regime.
I have no problem saying I believe Saudi Arabia needs dragging kicking and screaming into the 21st century. How successful successor King Salman will be at this remains to be seen.