Qatar 'misleading' world over diplomatic row, says UAE's ambassador to UN

Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman

The religious leader enjoys 14 million followers on Twitter.

The incident came to light on Twitter after Khalid bin Fahd al-Auda tweeted on Sunday that the Saudi authorities had arrested is brother Salman.

Qatar recalled its ambassador to Tehran in January a year ago after Saudi Arabia cut ties with the Islamic Republic, following angry protests held outside its embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad against the kingdom's execution of senior Shiite cleric Ayatollah Nimr al-Nimr.

Al-Qarni was arrested from his home last week following support for reconciliation between Gulf countries.

Hopes for a breakthrough were quickly dashed when Saudi Arabia suspended any dialogue with Qatar, accusing it of "distorting facts".

Awdah was the second cleric reported detained by Saudi authorities in the past week.

Sheikh Salman al-Awdah was arrested over the weekend following a series of posts on Twitter calling for an end of the diplomatic spat between Saudi Arabia, its allies United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Egypt and Qatar, according to social media accounts relayed by media.

There are reports that exiled Saudi opposition activists have called for demonstrations on Friday the 15 September. In the 1990s, the Sahwa (Awakening) movement inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood demanded political reforms that would have weakened the ruling family.

A decade ago it fought off an al Qaeda campaign of attacks targeting officials and foreigners that killed hundreds. Further arrests took place on Monday, with Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Harithi, Sheikh Mohamed Al-Khodairi, Hassan Farhan, Gharm Al-Beeshi and others detained.

The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) has condemned the reported arrest of Muslim preachers and scholars in Saudi Arabia, urging Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz to order their release. Exiled Saudi opposition activists have called for protests on September 15 meant to galvanise opposition to the royal family.

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