JNN 21 May 2013 RIYADH, – A Saudi Arabian vegetable seller, who set himself on fire in the capital Riyadh on Thursday to express discontent over social and economic injustices in the kingdom, has died.
A Saudi newspaper says a vegetable seller who set himself on fire in Riyadh after police confiscated his goods for standing in an unauthorized area has died.
The website for newspaper Sada reported that the man, identified only by the family name of Sureihi, died in hospital late on Friday.
The self-immolation emulated that of a street vendor in Tunisia, whose 2011 death sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.
Family members were seen outside the hospital Saturday demanding answers about why police confiscated the man’s goods. Witnesses say the family wants to know what led him to douse himself in gasoline and set himself ablaze on Thursday.
Saudi officials refused to comment. They did not disclose the man’s name or age.
Despite Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth, many of its people live in poor conditions. Protests in the conservative kingdom are rare.
There have been several acts of self-immolation across Arab countries since self-immolation of Tunisia’s Mohamed Bouazizi in December 2010, which provoked an anti-regime uprising in the North African country.
According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudi regime “routinely represses expression critical of the government.”
There have been numerous demonstrations in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province since February 2011, with protestors calling for political reform.
Anti-government protests have intensified since November 2011, when security forces opened fire on protestors in Qatif, killing five people and leaving scores more injured.
Activists say there are over 30,000 political prisoners in Saudi Arabia.
Madarsa – Quran Learning Centers Closed Down by Religious Police
According to Al-Badil website, they cited lack of proper permits for running the center as the reason for closing them down.
Members of religious police, known as Department of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, raided the Quranic centers and took their staff into custody for several hours.
The Dar-ol-Quran Center in Al-Munirah region and a kindergarten in Al-Houra were among the centers raided by the police. Saudi Arabia implements an educational system founded upon the views of Wahabism in all of its religious centers.
All such centers, regardless of the school of thought they belong to, have to follow this educational system.