A group of people have held an anti-government demonstration in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, amid a wave of major protests in the oil-rich kingdom. On Sunday, dozens of male demonstrators rallied in front of the Ministry of Interior’s building, urging the release of detainees, who have been held without charge, Shiite News reported.
“They demand the release of relatives in prison,” activist Mohammed al-Qahtani was quoted as saying about the protest.
This comes as disgruntled employees of the Saudi Telecom Company have gone on strike to protest a government plan to give bonus payments only to managers.
The employees have slammed the decision as unfair.
People took to the streets in 11 Saudi cities on Friday despite tight security measures, after a group of Saudi youths called for a ‘Day of Rage’ protest on it Facebook page.
On Thursday, Saudi police opened fire on a protest rally in the eastern city of Qatif, injuring at least three Shia protesters. Witnesses say police also beat demonstrators with batons.
In Saudi Arabia, protest rallies and any public displays of dissent are forbidden and are considered illegal. Senior Wahhabi clerics in the kingdom have also censured opposition demonstrations as “un-Islamic.”Back to top button
The Facebook group, which has over 17,000 members, has also called for a “Saudi Revolution” on March 20. Tens of thousands of Saudis have already joined the movement.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has banned women from voting in municipal elections. The ban is the second of its kind since 2005.