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161 protesters held in Saudi Arabia

Published: Updated:

Saudi police have arrested 161 people, including 15 women, after a protest calling for fair treatment for security prisoners, the official SPA news agency reported late Friday.

State news agency SPA said those detained had refused to disperse from a sit-in staged outside the investigation and prosecution bureau in the town of Buraida.

SPA quoted a police spokesman in the Qassim region as saying those detained on Friday “refused to respond to instructions and attempts by security personnel for more than 12 hours to get them to end their informal gathering.”

The sit-in was “an attempt to rouse public opinion by exploiting the cases of a number of persons convicted or accused of crimes or activities of a deviant group,” the spokesman said.

The security forces are in the process of handing back six children that accompanied the protesters who were arrested to their relatives.