Saudi Arabian authorities have detained three of their citizens for posting YouTube videos that call on the oil-rich kingdom to improve their living standards as well as criticizing “corruption” in the Persian Gulf Kingdom.
Saudi activist announced on Sunday that the arrests were made on Saturday, the same day US President Barack Obama flew home from a visit to Saudi Arabia while being widely criticized for not having done more to raise human rights concerns during his talks with King Abdullah, AFP reported.
In one video seen by AFP, a young man identifying himself as Abdulaziz Mohammed al-Dosari addressed King Abdullah saying he has to survive on a low income, and does not own a house or a car.
“We are fed up, and you still blame those who carry out bombings,” the man says, urging the king to give Saudis money to improve their lives.
“Give us our money… we do not want to beg… You and your children are playing with this money,” he said about Saudi’s oil wealth in the 30-second video during which he held up his identification card.
In another video, a man identifying himself as Abdullah bin Othman charged that “corruption is widespread” in Saudi Arabia while “people are hungry and oppressed.”
Othman urged other Saudis to go online and post their comments “so that our voices could reach the king”.
In a third video, a man calling himself Saud al-Harbi said many of his compatriots are in need of “housing” and a “decent life.”
“Please listen to us. We want housing, we want a decent life,” he said, apparently addressing Saudi authorities.
And he added: “Do not force people to take to the streets.”
Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy where protests are banned.
Despite its huge oil wealth, Saudi Arabia has a jobless rate of more than 12.5 percent among its native population.