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State Security Arrests 21 Saudis, One Qatari for Incitement | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A general view of Ha’er Prison in Saudi Arabia July 6, 2015. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Riyadh – The Saudi State Security announced on Wednesday the arrest of 21 Saudis and a Qatari citizen who were all involved in inciting the public opinion and encouraging the commitment of illegal acts.

An official source at the Saudi authority said that the state security service has “monitored circulated video clips on social media websites that include different topics, which ignite the public interest and stir feelings towards issues that are still in consideration.”

The videos included “direct and indirect incitement to commit acts against the law and order”, according to the same sources.

The state security body has managed to identify the persons involved in posting these videos, which included 21 Saudis and one Qatari. They are currently being investigated for motives and affiliations, the sources noted.

The recent arrests were based on Article 6 of the Anti-Cyber Crime Law, which punishes by “imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years and a fine of not more than SAR3 million, a number of crimes, including the production of anything that violates public order, religious values, morals and the inviolability of private life, or the preparation, transmission or storage of it through the internet or a computer.”

Also on Wednesday,  Saudi security forces arrested 24 people involved in incitement and spreading rumors in Hail region, spokesman of the Ministry of the Interior said.

The ministry noted that the authorities, which were carrying out legal procedures in a social case in Hail, have noticed that “some of those who are involved in the case had exploited social networking sites to disseminate lies and exaggerations about the circumstances of the case. They did so in order to stir sedition and to push the ordinary people to commit what is undesirable.”

The security authorities managed to arrest 24 suspects for their involvement in incitement and dissemination of rumors, including the person who created a ‘hashtag’ on a social networking site for that purpose, according to the ministry’s spokesperson.