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Saudi police silence activist

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    Saudi police silence activist http://cm.aljazeera.net/Articles/News/ArabWorld/Saudi+political+activi st+arrested.htm By Lawrence Smallman Tuesday 23 September
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2003
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      Saudi police silence activist

      http://cm.aljazeera.net/Articles/News/ArabWorld/Saudi+political+activi
      st+arrested.htm

      By Lawrence Smallman

      Tuesday 23 September 2003, 16:32 Makka Time, 13:32 GMT


      Al-Tayyar criticised the Saudi family's grip on government, led by
      Prince Abd Allah



      Related:
      Saudi police arrest more Islamists
      Saudi authorities kill six in shoot-out



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      A Saudi reformer who gave Aljazeera an exclusive interview about
      suppression and growing instability in the kingdom was arrested
      minutes later.


      Abd al-Aziz al-Tayyar told Aljazeera by telephone that Saudi security
      forces had surrounded his home just after 1am (22.15 GMT) and were
      preparing to storm his house.

      But in his last few minutes of freedom, the activist told millions of
      viewers how "all tribesmen are now willing to fight this government …
      we will protect the rights of our people some day."

      "This is not the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia any more. It is a jungle
      full of monsters … Saudi people are suppressed. They suffer poverty
      and unemployment," he added.

      Arrests followed as a number of activisits were arrested at al-
      Tayyar's house in al-Rawda quarter of Riyadh, including Muhammad al-
      Ma'yuf, Khalid al-Turki and Muhammad al-Subai.

      Political prisoner

      Al-Tayyar will be held at the Alaysha prison for questioning before
      being transferred to the notorious al-Hair political prison in
      Riyadh, according to Saudi dissident Dr Saad al-Faqih.

      Al-Faqih believes the activist is unlikely to be tortured as he comes
      from a powerful and well-connected family, "but he may be made to
      sign a confession admitting wrong-doing".

      Saudi authorities were not prepared to say why he was arrested.

      Possible arrest reasons

      Al-Faqih, now based in London, also said al-Tayyar has been arrested
      due to his numerous contributions on a pirate radio station in the UK.

      The underground station, called al-Islah and carried by the Hotbird
      satellite on audio frequency 11096, has been operating for more than
      three months now.

      Thousands of Saudis are understood to tune into the dissidents'
      station on a daily basis to listen to people like al-Tayyar.

      The 34 year-old reformer formerly worked at the Saudi Chamber of
      Commerce, but was dismissed three years ago.

      Over the last three months, however, he has become more vocal in his
      political opposition - even using his name on al-Islah Radio
      broadcasts.

      Following his arrest, Faqih said that "dozens of contributors" to al-
      Islah were willing to give their names and speak up against injustice.

      Hostages in Jizan

      "This is not the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia any more. It is a jungle
      full of monsters"

      Abd al-Aziz al-Tayyar,
      political activist

      In a separate incident, four armed men broke into a housing unit of
      King Fahd hospital where they held a few foreigners hostage, one
      witness told Aljazeera on Tuesday.

      Abd Allah Abu Izz al-Din said he saw about 80 Saudi police exchange
      fire with the armed men, killing four.

      "Special Forces used tear gas to free the hostages," he added.

      Two other gunmen were also seriously wounded and at least two Saudi
      policemen died in the skirmish to the northeast of the city. No names
      have been released by Saudi authorities.

      The hostage-breakers broke into the compound after escaping a police
      operation to arrest them at a nearby farm on Tuesday morning.

      Rashid Hamid



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