Saudi authorities detain Shi'ite cleric over sermon

March 1, 2011 11:06

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi authorities detained a Shi'ite cleric in the Eastern Province after he called for a constitutional monarchy and an end to corruption and discrimination, human rights activists said on Tuesday.

Tawfiq al-Amir, who has been detained before for speaking out about religious freedom, made his call in a Friday sermon in the eastern town of Hafouf. Security police detained him on Sunday, said Mohammad Gabran, a local rights activist.

"Previously his sole care was religious freedoms but in his last sermon he changed his direction and started demanding a constitutional monarchy," Gabran said.

"He called me when they came to take him. They informed him they were state security and they came to take him."

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