Amnesty International has called on the Saudi Arabian government to allow peaceful protests after the authorities confirmed a ban on all demonstrations in the Kingdom.
On Saturday, The Ministry of Interior said that security forces would take “all necessary steps against those who attempt to disrupt order.”
Confirmation of the ban, which was first referred to in 2008, comes amid growing calls for reform in the country. Further protests are planned for Friday 11 March.
“The Saudi Arabian authorities have a duty to ensure freedom of assembly and are obliged under international law to allow peaceful protests to take place,” said Philip Luther, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.
“They must act immediately to end this outrageous restriction on the right to legitimate protest.”
Some 24 people were detained on 3 and 4 March following protests in the city of al-Qatif, denouncing the prolonged detention of Shi’a prisoners.