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Saudi Arabia

Ministry’s appeal: Ignore rumors, maintain peace

Major Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, spokesman of the Ministry of Interior, made an appeal last night to people to maintain peace and harmony in the country and ignore rumors.
Addressing a press conference, Al-Turki said only 2,772 people are behind bars in the Kingdom.
“Some of the people, he said, have been using social networking sites to spread rumors that a large number of Saudis are in prison. The fact is that 2,221 Saudis are currently in prison including those in Buraidah, he explained.
Some people are also spreading rumors about the role of policemen in controlling the protests in Buraidah, he said. “This is not true. Members of a deviant group are trying to spread rumors and mislead the local media about those detained in Qatif and Buraidah.”
He said: “The Ministry of Interior is seriously considering a plan under which the name of any accused person and his criminal profile will be uploaded on to the Internet to be seen by the general public.
A total of 112 people, including 12 women, detained for participating in an illegal gathering in Buraidah have been released on bail, he said.
Officials have also completed procedures for the release of another nine people, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Al-Turki said the Saudi government will not tolerate any violence or protests in Buraidah or elsewhere in the Kingdom. He said that government agencies including the police will do their duty to ensure peace and security in Qassim. A total of 176 people, including 15 women, were arrested last Friday after they staged a sit-in protest outside the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution in the city.
Al-Turki said that the security authorities are currently examining charges against other detainees. He pointed out that protesters were detained after they repeatedly flouted orders from security agencies to maintain peace in the city.
He said that demonstrators were trying to create problems and influence public opinion in the name of those who have been accused of crimes in the past.
The protesters, he said, were demanding the release of several members of “deviant groups” convicted by the courts in Qassim region.
He said that the Kingdom has taken several steps to foil terror plots and tackle organized crime and drug trafficking.
Al-Turki took a group of journalists from Riyadh to Buraidah, where he and senior security officials of Qassim region addressed the press.
According to a report published recently, Saudi women will be recruited by intelligence and security agencies. Priority will be given to students on scholarships abroad who are academically competent and have language skills.
The report said that Saudi women will be allowed to work at the General Directorate of Investigation. The decision was announced by Prince Mohammad bin Naif, the interior minister, to a Saudi delegation attending a career event in the Ottawa recently.

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