Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Saudi police nabs 80 during protest attempt - source
Reuters ^ | 24 Oct 2003 11:50:59 GMT | Fahd al-Frayyan

Posted on 10/24/2003 6:03:36 AM PDT by Int

24 Oct 2003 11:50:59 GMT
Saudi police nabs 80 during protest attempt-source

By Fahd al-Frayyan

RIYADH, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Saudi authorities arrested more than 80 people who sought to protest in response to calls by an exiled dissident group demanding reform in the absolute monarchy, a security official said on Friday.

The protest, the second in the kingdom in two weeks, was seen as a new challenge to the Saudi royal family, which is already mounting a crackdown against militants loyal to Saudi-born al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

"Tens of people were detained as they gathered. The number reached 80. We are serious in stopping such demonstrations because they violate the law and create anarchy and chaos," the official told Reuters.

He said the arrests took place in several cities, including the Red sea port of Jeddah, the capital Riyadh, the eastern port of Dammam and northern town of Hail.

He accused dissidents of "exploiting" domestic issues such as reforms and unemployment, estimated at 12 percent, "to incite young men to take to the streets". He said Riyadh was determined to crack down on protests -- which are banned in the country.

Witnesses did not report new protests after Friday prayers.

The protests in the kingdom are being called for by London-based Saad al-Fagih and his Movement for Islamic Reform.

His group has used fax, Internet and radio, as well as its new Islah TV channel, to circumvent official controls on information and free speech in Saudi Arabia. He advocates peaceful political change in the kingdom.


Last week's protest took place one day after Saudi Arabia announced it would hold its first polls next year for local councils -- the kingdom's first gesture of political concession.

Saudi Arabia said it arrested 271 at last week's protest, 83 of whom would be sent to court.

Islah said in an Internet statement that Thursday's protest went ahead despite the authorities' "harsh" crackdown.

"The protests went ahead despite the harsh repression exerted on those who tried to reach the gathering points and despite the jamming of our Web site by the security services," it said.

"Large numbers of protestors were able to reach the gathering point despite the severe crackdown. Many were arrested," it added.

Saudi police on Thursday blocked roads in Riyadh and other cities to thwart demonstrations. Police filmed passers-by near a mosque in Jeddah, said to be a gathering point, and scores of security vehicles moved into the city centre.

Since the September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities -- in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis -- Riyadh has come under pressure from key ally Washington to implement reform in the cradle of Islam and the world's largest oil exporter.

It has mounted sweeping arrests against militants, especially after bombings in Riyadh in May which killed 35 people.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alfagih; demos; islamicreform; mir; protests; saadalfagih; saudi; saudia; saudiarabia

1 posted on 10/24/2003 6:03:37 AM PDT by Int
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Int
As long as Saudi makes a bust and offers us up some small frys...We guarantee to stay off their backs

Never mind it is Saudi who is the main sponsor of Whabbii terrorism...HAMAS etc...

Our leaders refuse to hold Saudi accountable for their active support of terrorists...

So in order to keep the gravy flowing they put on a nice goat and camel show to mollify the rubes back in the USA
Kind of like the history of drug cartels in America who continue to run drugs into America...and who also offer up a small fish now and again to keep their partners happy and their place secured..

2 posted on 10/24/2003 6:18:32 AM PDT by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Int
Whether the protesters were Islamofascists or classical Liberals is not stated in the article. It is possible the Saudis are rounding up democrats, and passing it off as a crackdown on Islamofascists.

At least the "journalist" could have determined who was being repressed.

3 posted on 10/24/2003 7:08:05 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Mullahs swinging from lamp posts.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Brad Cloven; Int; joesnuffy; belmont_mark; marron
Many of the "reformers" are jihadis who feel the Royals are not islamic enough.

This points to a severe weakness in our Democracy for the Arabs strategy; increasing democratisation will IMO, result not in western style liberals coming to the fore, but rather jihadis who would demand an increased sharia state.
Rational people may well ask, how much more?

On the bright side, liberalising under US pressure, could very well cause the same reaction that happened in Iran.
Sorta like a dam, once that initial crack occurs, watch out.

Since we won't explicity go after the Saudis, perhaps this misguided strategy of encouraging liberalistion is the best hope for a meltdown in the Tragic Kingdom.

Whatever the help, and it is significant, that the Saudis have offered in the past 60 year US alliance, was negated by the Attacks on America.

Now how long can the Oil Companies and their defence contractor and assorted politically connected buddies, shore up what may very well be a Potemkin Village type facade of the current Saudi state? Who knows, but history shows that sometimes just a little loosening up of the chains on a people is the worst thing a totalitarian, reactionary regime can do. Inshallah!

Just as a sidebar, what if the Iran Contra affair was a Saudi inspired leak to the Beirut rag that leaked the story in order to stop the Americans from getting closer to the Iranians......
4 posted on 10/24/2003 12:08:53 PM PDT by swarthyguy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: swarthyguy
If Islamofascists held a coup in SA, we would have a perfectly clear enemy to destroy...Hiding behind the Prince's skirts makes them much harder to find.
5 posted on 10/24/2003 12:33:54 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Mullahs swinging from lamp posts.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Int
When your foreign policy essentially amounts to herding snakes, your primary interest is in keeping your herds moving away from you. You can't hesitate to take ruthless measures when they start looking over their shoulder in your direction. The Saudi royals have been wedded to the Wahabs for two hundred years. Their legitimacy rests upon that foundation, which means that they can neither abandon them without being devoured by them, but they must keep feeding them and keep pointing their rage outward. At any moment the rage that they have inculcated in their people must collapse back in on them and all will be lost.

Consequently any political opening may have the tendency to give vent to this rage. Thats bad.

But its still the best way forward. Factions within the Royal family will form the basis of political parties. The parties who are out of power will in true Wahab fashion be radicalized but the party in power will always be forced to respond to reality, which tends to blunt radicalism. Right now you have only a handful of Royals who are forced to engage reality but in a parliamentary system you have a national debate that, on a good day, brings more people into the discussion and forces more people to deal with the actual world. This could put power into the hands of the psychotics but it tends to reign in the psychosis.

The royals threaten us by our fear of what comes when the real Wahabs take over the country. But the Sauds are the ones who grow the real Wahabs. That makes the Sauds our salvation from a threat that they themselves create.

Without ignoring the dangers, we should call the bluff and push for an end to the present regime. No fear. Just do it.

6 posted on 10/24/2003 1:45:50 PM PDT by marron
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Brad Cloven
... Two of the men contacted by Bin Laden in Britain — Khaled al Fawwaz and Ibrahim Eidarous — are now in prison awaiting extradition to the United States for their part in the embassy bombings, which killed 224 and injured thousands.
However, another senior terrorist suspect, Mustafa Nazar, is still on the loose. He spent up to two years in Dollis Hill, north London, recruiting for Al-Qaeda. A key figure in Bin Laden’s terror training camps, he left Britain in 1998 and was last seen in Afghanistan fighting alongside the Taliban.
The telephone records have come to light following the trial last year of four Al-Qaeda terrorists who planned and carried out the bombing of the two American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
According to trial documents, the telephone [the one bin Laden used] was bought in 1996 with the help of Dr Saad al Fagih, 45, a bearded surgeon who heads the London-based Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia. This fundamentalist Muslim group is dedicated to the overthrow of the Saudi Arabian government but is not part of Al-Qaeda.
Al Fagih, who has been regularly used by the BBC as an expert on Bin Laden, has in the past explained that Muslim scholars said the killing of civilians, including children, was allowed by the Koran as “collateral damage” in the holy war.
It was al Fagih’s credit card which was used to help to buy the £10,500 Compact-M satellite phone in the United States and it was shipped to his home in north London, according to American court documents. His credit card was also used to buy more than 3,000 minutes of pre-paid airtime.

Last week al Fagih, who has not been arrested or charged in connection with any of these actions, said: “I am willing to speak to the authorities if they ask me about this or any other issue, but not to the press.” ...------ "Bin Laden called UK 260 times," by Nick Fielding and Dipesh Gadhery, The Sunday Times (U.K.), 03/24/2002
7 posted on 05/19/2005 8:49:31 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson