Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia orders arrest of 23 protesters

Saudi protesters rally to demand freedom and equality in the country. (File photo)

Source: Press TV

Saudi Arabia's interior ministry has ordered the arrest of 23 anti-regime Shia protesters in the kingdom's oil-reach Eastern Province over accusations of sparking an uprising in the Persian Gulf monarchy.

Saudi Interior Ministry declared the arrest order in a statement read on state television on Monday, accusing the 23 men of serving the agenda of a foreign power.

"We do have evidence of a relationship with somebody else abroad," Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Mansour Turki told a news conference. "Now how much, or what kind of relationship and how strong that relationship, this still has to be investigated and that is what we want these people for," he added.

He further called on the Saudi people to inform the authorities of any other protesters, offering rewards.

Several villages and towns in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province have been the scene of protest rallies, with demonstrators calling for freedom and equality as well as the release of thousands of political prisoners.

Earlier in November, Saudi forces attacked thousands of demonstrators, killing five people and injured many others in the Eastern Province. The funerals for the victims usually turned to demonstrations, with protesters chanting slogans against the Al Saud regime.

Saudi activists say there are thousands of political prisoners in jails across the kingdom. According to human rights campaigners, most of the detained are being held without trial or legitimate charges and have been arrested on the grounds of mere suspicion.

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