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  • Al-Ouda posted to his Twitter, which has 14 million follows, that he supported mediation to settle Qatar conflict.

    Al-Ouda posted to his Twitter, which has 14 million follows, that he supported mediation to settle Qatar conflict.

Exiled activists have called for demonstrations, on September 15, in opposition to the Kingdom which has been a monarchy since 1932.

Controversial clerics, Salman al-Ouda and Awad al-Qarni, were reportedly among 20 people arrested by Saudi Arabian security forces.

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Al-Ouda posted to his Twitter, which has 14 million follows, that he supported mediation to settle Qatar conflict. "May God harmonize between their hearts for the good of their people," he wrote. He was imprisoned from 1994-99 for agitating for political change, according to Saudi rights group AIQST.

Al-Ouda and al-Qarni – who also supports a reconciliation with Qatar – are both known to be critical of the Saudi Arabian government. Additionally, exiled activists have called for demonstrations, on September 15, in opposition to the Kingdom which has been a monarchy since 1932.

The kingdom, which is struggling with falling oil prices, faces criticism over military action against neighboring Yemen, which it launched on March 26. Many also see Riyadh's policies as a major cause of the crises in the region, especially in Syria and Iraq.

There are also reports of the recently returned pilgrim, Hamad al-Marri, being arrest and held “incommunicado” from his relatives and lawyers upon his return from Saudi Arabia.

Al-Marri attended Hajj as a guest of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

Reports of the arrests come amid speculation that King Salman intends to abdicate in favor of his son Crown Prince Mohammed. Several unidentified sources and tweets by rights organizations, journalists and others are reporting that former King Fahd's son Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Fahd al Saud is among those arrested. 

A Saudi analyst speculated that the detainments were “(To) crush the Muslim Brotherhood or scare others if their plan is for him (Crown Prince Mohammed) to be king.”

Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt accused Qatar of supporting Islamist militants, a charge Doha denies.

Saudi officials could not immediately be reached for a comment on the reported arrests.

The al Saud family has always regarded Islamist groups as the biggest internal threat to its rule. A decade ago it fought off an al-Qaida campaign of attacks targeting officials and foreigners that killed hundreds. In the 1990s, the Sahwa (Awakening) movement inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood demanded political reforms that would have weakened the ruling family.
 


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