Saudi women rally for prisoners’ release

March 3 2011
A group of women in Saudi Arabia have protested their husbands’ detention in Saudi prisons, amid the emerging signs of anti-government uprisings across the kingdom.

The women say their husbands have been behind bars for at least 15 years without trial.

They chanted the men have been “forgotten” and have called for their immediate release.

On February 24, another demonstration was held in the oil-producing Eastern province of Qatif. The protesters carried pictures of prisoners and demanded their release.

Two weeks ago, a similar protest was also held in the neighboring town of Awwamiya, after which, Saudi authorities freed three prisoners.

Tens of thousands of people are preparing themselves to attend the protests after Saudi youth named March 11th the Day of Rage on the social networking website, Facebook.

On February 23, Saudi King Abdullah suddenly promised a $36 billion-package of extra benefits for his people, upon his return from a long medical trip to the US.

He also granted pardon to some prisoners indicted in financial crimes and ordered the implementation of a 15-percent pay hike for state employees as well as an increase in the cash available for Saudi housing loans.

Analysts believe the huge hike in benefits introduced by the Saudi king is actually intended to avert an uprising in the country.

In recent weeks, a wave of revolutions and anti-government uprisings has spread across the Arab world.


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