Three Saudis arrested over YouTube protests

Video bloggers appeal for better living conditions on streaming site

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Three Saudis arrested over YouTube protests The videos appealed for help from the Saudi government to improve living conditions in the kingdom.
By  Stephen McBride Published  March 31, 2014

Three Saudi citizens have been arrested in the kingdom for posting YouTube videos urging authorities to provide them with better living standards, AFP reported.

In one video, a young man held up an ID card, revealing him to be Abdulaziz Mohammed al-Dosari. He said he did not have a house or car and had to survive on low income, and appealed directly to King Abdullah: "We are fed up, and you still blame those who carry out bombings... Give us our money... we do not want to beg... You and your children are playing with this money."

Another video alleged that "corruption is widespread" and "people are hungry and oppressed", and a third urged similar comments from other Saudis.

"Do not force people to take to the streets," the poster said, in an apparent plea to government officials.

AFP cited "activists" as saying all three bloggers had been arrested.

Al-Dosari and the other YouTube posters are part of a growing number of Saudi nationals who claim to be living in poor conditions in the oil-rich state, where an unemployment rate of 12.5% exists among the local population.

Authorities have sought to address the high jobless rate by introducing measures that force companies to hire quotas of Saudi nationals, but disgruntled citizens have taken to social media to express their frustration. Earlier this month a court sentenced a tweeter to 10 years in jail for insulting members of the political and religious establishment and calling for protests.

The kingdom's crackdown on social media outcries against authority figures has been mirrored in Oman and Kuwait since the Arab Spring.

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