Saudi Authorities Cracking Down on Dissent Ahead of Planned Protest

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Saudi Arabia is cracking down on dissent ahead of a planned protest called for by exiled government critics.

Activists outside of the country called for protests against the royal family to be held on Friday, Sept 15.

Protests and political parties are illegal and criticism of the royal family is punishable by jail time.

On Sunday, the government arrested at least a dozen prominent clerics, intellectuals and government critics and according to Al Jazeera, activists have reported an additional eight arrests since Monday, including clerics, academics, TV anchors and a poet.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports the government is encouraging citizens to report subversive social media content through a phone app.

The app was originally created to report crimes such as burglaries, but is now being used to report “information crimes.”

The Interior Ministry tweeted, “When you notice any account on social networks publishing terrorist or extremist ideas, please report it immediately.”