Abdullah al-Hamid, a former professor who is currently being investigated by the Saudi authorities for incitement, claimed that more than 25 human rights activists are currently under the observation of the local police. Out of this one has been sentenced for a period of 48 months in jail, while court proceedings are ongoing against another four individuals. Almost all of them have been prohibited from leaving the country. He also claimed that some of the activists were facing charges related to terrorism and of jeopardizing the national security.
Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Saudi Minister of Interior has rubbished the claims by the activists, saying that the accusations are unfounded and baseless. He claimed that currently there are no political prisoners in the nation, and all of those jailed during the protests are facing charges related to terrorism and sedition. He refused the claims of local police torturing the prisoners, by pointed out that a recent inspection by the Human Rights Commission failed to find any evidence of violence inside the prisons.
Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud took over the charge of interior ministry on June 18th, after the death of Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud due to cardiac arrest. Human rights activists were hoping that the new minister would take a more lenient approach to the protests, as compared to the hardline stance taken by his predecessor. The activists now say that their hopes were dashed, after Prince Ahmed refused to deviate from the hardline stance set by Prince Nayef.