Saudi Arab

Saudi Arabia censured over arrest of dissidents

saudi policeThe US-backed Saudi regime has come under pressure for what critics describe as wielding absolute power and maintaining unchecked access to the kingdom’s wealth.

Saudi security officials said on Friday that at least 10 people were arrested in the past week because of anti-government video statements posted on YouTube.

Some have accused the royal family of corruption, while others have called for judicial independence and freedom of speech.

The security officials, who were speaking on condition of anonymity, said that at least three of those who appeared in the videos were nabbed along with seven others in connection with the statements.

Activists say there are over 30,000 political prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

In October 2013, rights group Amnesty International censured Saudi authorities for not addressing the “dire human rights situation” in the kingdom.

The group also handed in a paper to the United Nations, which included information regarding a “new wave of repression against civil society, which has taken place over the last two years.”

Anti-government protests have intensified since November 2011, when security forces opened fire on protesters in Qatif, killing five people and leaving scores more injured.

Riyadh has strictly banned any gatherings across the kingdom. Several people have died in the regime crackdown on protests.

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