Top Saudi cler­ics laud ar­rest of dis­senters

Pretoria News - - WORLD -

SAUDI Ara­bia’s top re­li­gious body and me­dia pub­licly sup­ported the ar­rests of prom­i­nent cler­ics and ac­tivists who in the past have crit­i­cised the monar­chy, af­ter the gov­ern­ment an­nounced it had neu­tralised a threat from Saudis work­ing for “for­eign pow­ers”.

The ap­par­ent crack­down on po­ten­tial dis­senters, some with ties to a brand of po­lit­i­cal Is­lam that Saudi rulers have long op­posed, comes at a time of grow­ing spec­u­la­tion that King Salman will ab­di­cate in favour of his al­ready pow­er­ful son, Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Salman, 32.

Given Saudi rulers’ ab­so­lute pow­ers, suc­ces­sion is sen­si­tive, es­pe­cially with the prince pur­su­ing un­prece­dented eco­nomic change and an ag­gres­sive for­eign pol­icy that in­cludes the war in Ye­men and the boy­cott of Qatar.

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