Protesters arrested outside Saudi Interior Ministry

21 March 2011

No tolerance approach to protests continues

Protests occurred outside the Interior Ministry in Saudi Arabia on 20 March as demonstrators demanded the release of political prisoners.

According to reports, dozens of protesters gathered outside the ministry building before being broken up by police, with at least 15 protesters arrested.

Protests are banned in Saudi Arabia and King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud has offered the second series of financial handouts intended to stop the protest movement sweeping the Arab region from taking root in Saudi Arabia.

On 14 March, Saudi Arabia sent troops into Bahrain to help crush an anti-government protest movement on the island. However, protesters in Bahrain have not yet been deterred by the increasingly violent crackdown undertaken by security forces, although the protests have been forced out of central Manama.

A planned ‘Day of Rage’ on 11 March failed to materialise in the face of a heavy police presence, but a number of smaller protests have occurred.

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