Saudi Arabia arrests 9 professors with alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood
The Muslim Brotherhood has been labeled a terrorist organization by both the Saudi and the Egyptian governments. (AFP/File)
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Nine university professors have been arrested in Saudi Arabia over alleged links to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement, which is banned in the Saudi kingdom.
Saudi newspaper Okaz reported on Monday that the professors, two from Saudi Arabia and the rest from neighboring countries, had been involved with “foreign organizations” based on “voice recordings and emails” related to them.
The daily said in explanation that “foreign organizations” was a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Riyadh labeled as a “terror” group in March, a move that was slammed by the movement in Egypt. The newspaper further said that investigation is expected to be completed by mid-June. If convicted, the nine could receive 10- to 15-year jail terms.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has followed in Riyadh’s footsteps, have launched a crackdown on those accused of links to the Brotherhood.
Egypt’s military-backed interim government decided to label the group a terrorist organization last December after the ouster of the country’s Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Morsi in July.
Riyadh had hailed the overthrow of Morsi by the military coup. It has also promised billions of dollars to the army-installed government in Cairo.
In early March, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar in a move which was believed to be due to Doha’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
Qatar provided Egypt with an economic cushion of USD 7.5 billion when Morsi was president.