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Saudi Arabian police tighten security ahead of new riots

RIA Novosti

17:59 11/03/2011

RIYADH, March 11 (RIA Novosti) - Police in Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh have tightened security measures ahead of expected anti-government riots, a local policeman told RIA Novosti on Friday.

Calls for people to take to the streets are sweeping social networking sites in the Arab country following recent revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt and the ongoing bloodshed in Libya.

"Any protest demonstrations are forbidden in our country so we will severely thwart any attempts at violating the law," said the police officer, who wished to remain anonymous.

Police cars and helicopters are patrolling the streets in Riyadh to prevent the uprising, expected to begin at the end of the mid-day prayer.

Protesters are calling for the establishment of a constitutional monarchy, the release of political prisoners and more rights for women. An anonymous local told RIA Novosti that many young people were also angry about a recent tightening of traffic restrictions in the country.

"Some people now have speeding tickets for $79,000. What should they do? Sure, they will protest," the youth said.

On Thursday, Saudi police dispersed about 200 protesters in Qatif, a town in the Eastern Province of the country.

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