Three Saudi nationals have been arrested for posting video messages on the Youtube website criticising the king and calling for better living standards in the kingdom, it was reported.
The arrests came on Saturday, just hours after US President Barack Obama left the Gulf state after talks with King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, human rights activists told the AFP news wire.
“We are fed up... Give us our money... we do not want to beg... You and your children are playing with this money,” one man, named as Abdul Aziz Mohammad Al Dosari, said in one of the 30-second clips posted on Youtube.
Addressing King Abdullah directly, Al Dosari said he was unable to survive on his low income and could not afford to buy a car or a house.
A second protestor claimed “corruption is widespread” in Saudi Arabia, while a third man claimed citizens were in dire need of “housing” and a “decent life”.
“Please listen to us. We want housing, we want a decent life... Do not force people to take to the streets,” one of the men filmed in the clips said.
The Gulf state recently ratified an anti-terrorism law that rights campaigners have criticised as a tool to stifle dissent.
In early March, a Saudi court sentenced a man to 10 years in jail and a SAR100,000 ($26,700) fine for joining protests against the kingdom's rulers and using Twitter to urge people to do the same, state news agency SPA said.
SPA quoted Justice Ministry spokesman Fahd Al Bakran as saying the unidentified defendant had also retweeted messages against the monarchy, Muslim scholars and security services.
"(He was) convicted of entering an internet site hostile to the state that encourages fighting and promotes deviant thought," Bakran added.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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