Chronology: Saudi Arabia

The Middle East Journal, Summer 2012 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Saudi Arabia


See also Iraq, Syria, Yemen

Jan. 22: Saudi Arabia withdrew from the Arab League's peacekeeping mission in Syria, claiming that Syria did not abide by the Arab peace deal. Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal called on the international community, including Russia, to exert more pressure on the Syrian regime to stop the violence. [BBC, 1/22]

Jan. 24: Saudi police arrested nine people accused of starting riots in the restive Eastern Province. Shi'a in the oil-rich province demonstrated over the Saudi ruling family's alleged economic and religious discrimination. Over 400 people were arrested in demonstrations since March 2011. [BBC, 1/24]

Jan. 25: Saudi Arabia issued a government-backed Islamic sukuk, or bond, for the first time. The bond, which financed the construction of an airport in Jidda, was issued domestically and was only available to Saudi investors. [NYT, 1/25]

Feb. 5: Manal Al-Sherif and another woman filed complaints with Saudi courts over their inability to obtain a driver's license. Al Sherif was arrested and imprisoned for two weeks in 2011 after distributing a video of her operating an automobile. [AP, 1/5]

Feb. 8: Hamza Kashgari went into hiding after the Saudi king ordered his arrest for a tweet blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad and questioning the existence of God. Kashgari apologized and repented publicly, but the outcry against him obliged the Saudi king to take action. [GN, 2/8]

Feb. 10: Malaysian police detained Hamza Kashgari, the Saudi blogger who fled his country after posting a blasphemous comment on his Twitter account. Saudi Arabia filed a complaint with INTERPOL, after which INTERPOL requested that Malaysian authorities arrest Kashgari. [AFP, 2/10]

Feb. 13: Malaysia extradited Hamza Kashgari to Saudi Arabia. While Malaysia and Saudi Arabia did not have an extradition treaty, the two predominantly Muslim nations shared a warm relationship. …

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