RealNews

Challenge to Saudi leaders with call for more protests

A week after a rare protest backed by Saudi dissidents was put down by police in Riyadh, the London-based Islamist opposition group is promising a new challenge by calling on supporters to take to the streets on Thursday in large numbers and in several cities. The demonstrations, designed to call for reforms and the release of prisoners, will be seen as a test of the influence of Islah, the group that surprised many Saudis last week with its ability to mobilise support. Many had not expected the demonstration to take place at all so the attempt to gather became the talk of Riyadh. Though numbers of protesters were difficult to gauge, that some responded to the call reflected a willingness to take bold action in a country where protests are banned – and virtually non-existent – but anger and resentment have been mounting. The Saudi regime sought to play down the scale of the protest and said it had arrested at least 150 people. The country’s highest religious authority declared the protesters a “deviant” and marginal group. Full Story

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