Saudi court jails two over 2011 protests

March 2, 2017 15:37

DUBAI - A court in Saudi Arabia has convicted two Saudi citizens of trying to organize mass protests in 2011 inspired by Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia and sentenced them to three and four years in jail, local media reported on Thursday.

A clampdown at the time prevented calls issued on social media for mass gatherings in the capital Riyadh, although some small protests by minority Shi'ite Muslims were dispersed by security forces with gunshots fired in the air.

The late King Abdullah also ordered an aid package worth billions of dollars for Saudis in an apparent bid to insulate the world's top oil exporter from the protests.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper reported that the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh had found the two unnamed defendants guilty of "heeding the calls of (the) ideologically deviant to cause chaos and participate in demonstrations billed as the 'Hunayn Revolution'" of March 11, 2011.

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