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Saudi Arabia Arrests 5 Kuwaitis for Distributing Religious Audiotapes - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Saudi authorities confirmed that 5 Kuwaitis were arrested Tuesday, for distributing religious tapes in Medina, Saudi Arabia. The Kuwaiti press stated that the accused Kuwaitis are military officers.

Major General Turki, the spokesman for the Saudi Interior Ministry told Asharq Al Awsat, “Saudi security authorities in Medina are questioning five Kuwaiti citizens and a Saudi national for distributing audiotapes on main roads from their car.” He pointed out that the investigation was in progress and sought to understand the group’s objectives behind the distribution of the tapes.” He stated that the content of the tapes was being examined, adding that the distribution of leaflets and audio tapes is illegal.

Yesterday, Kuwaiti newspapers reported that civilians were also arrested along with the officers. The families of the detainees told the media that most of the detainees had no specific political or religious concerns and that some worked in the field of real estate.

Yesterday, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai quoted Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak, the First Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior and Defence, who said that he was observing closely the case of the detained Kuwaitis in Saudi Arabia. According to the newspaper, he pointed out that he had instructed Kuwait’s state security authority to follow the case up with fellow Saudi officials. Sheikh Jaber stressed “Diligence upon achieving coordination between the Kingdom’s security and the security of Kuwait. We are all in the same boat and Kuwait rejects all that could harm the security of Saudi Arabia. Undoubtedly, we are dismayed at the fact that any Kuwaiti citizen would be involved in any manner in this.”

In turn, the Kuwaiti ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Hamad Jaber al Ali, praised, “The comprehensive and significant cooperation between the Kuwaiti embassy and Saudi Ministry of Interior.” In a statement to the Kuwait News Agency, Sheikh Hamad said, “Kuwaiti citizens detained by Saudi security authorities are detained because they are suspects.” He affirmed his confidence in fellow Saudi officers “and their distinctive handling of this matter.” He explained that the Kuwaiti Embassy in Riyadh is continuously in contact with the Saudi Ministry of Interior to keep up with the developments of the case.

The Kuwaiti Ambassador called upon all Kuwaitis visiting the kingdom to “abide by the regulations that govern their admission to Saudi territories.” He pointed out that there are thousands of Kuwaitis who arrive in Saudi Arabia on a daily basis and that they are welcomed in their second home, Saudi Arabia.