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Saudi Sheikh, Tawfiq Al-Amer, Arrested for Calling for Constitutional Monarchy, Protests Planned for his Release

Cyber activists call for 'Day of Anger' to protest arrest of Shiite cleric

By News Wires (text)

Friday, March 4, 2011

France 24, AFP -

Cyber activists on Facebook are organising a "Day of Anger" Friday in the majority Shiite region of eastern Saudi Arabia. They are demanding the release of a Shi'i cleric arrested after calling for a "constitutional monarchy".

Cyber activists have created a group on Facebook calling for a "Day of Anger" on Friday in the eastern Shiite-majority Saudi region, following the arrest of a Shiite cleric.
The group of more than 500 members is calling for protests after Friday prayers in Al-Hufuf, in Eastern Province's Al-Ihsaa governorate, to demand the release of Sheikh Tawfiq al-Amer.
Amer was arrested after calling for a "constitutional monarchy" in the kingdom, according to the Rasid website, which specialises in Shiite Saudi news.
It said that Amer has been held several times in the ultra-conservative absolute monarchy over his calls "for giving Shiites further freedom to exercise their religious rights."
The Shi'is, who are mainly concentrated in the oil-rich Eastern Province, and make up about 10 percent of the Saudi population as a whole, complain of marginalisation in the kingdom.
The Eastern Province has common borders with Shi'i-majority Bahrain, where protests, also organised via social networking site Facebook, against the ruling dynasty have raged since February 14 demanding reforms.
SAUDI ARABIA King Abdullah attempts to avoid unrest with $35 billion in benefits for citizens

TUNISIA Tunisia asks Saudi Arabia to extradite Ben Ali

USA US announces huge arms sale to Saudi Arabia

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