Saudi female students protest in Abha
Riyadh - Agencies
The Saudi royal family has intervened to settle tensions at a university in the south of the kingdom after more than 50 female students were injured when police stormed a demonstration last week.
Protests have continued for several days at King Khalid University in the city of Abha, with students demanding the resignation of its president over alleged corruption. Last Thursday, religious police wielding batons broke up a demonstration by about 1000 female students complaining about corruption and discrimination on campus.
Medical staff said that one of the injured women died later after an epileptic seizure. The death could not be confirmed and the Saudi government has denied there were any fatalities.
Prince Faisal bin Khalid, the governor of Asir province, has reportedly held talks with a student delegation. He pledged to pass their concerns on to King Abdullah, the Saudi ruler. Hundreds of students boycotted classes on Sunday to demand that the university president, Abdullah Al-Rashid, step down.
Armed police were stationed outside the university. Residents reported that a handful of students had been briefly detained then released without charge.
Prince Faisal warned that the government would not tolerate any attempt to destabilise the kingdom.
The university defended its decision to call in the Haia (religious police) but Rashid is not expected to keep his post.