News   /   Saudi Arabia

Severe penalties for anyone backing Hezbollah: Saudi Arabia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz watches troops taking part in the Northern Thunder military exercises in Hafr al-Batin, 500 kilometers northeast of Riyadh on March 10, 2016. (AFP)

Saudi Arabia says those linked to the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah will be punished in accordance to anti-terrorism laws.

According to an Interior Ministry statement published by the state-run SPA news agency on Sunday, Saudi nationals and foreigners living in the kingdom will face "severe penalties" if they sympathize with, financially support, or harbor any of the group’s members.

"Any citizen or resident who supports, shows membership in the so-called Hezbollah, sympathizes with it or promotes it, makes donations to it or communicates with it or harbors anyone belonging to it will be subject to the stiff punishments provided by the rules and orders, including the terrorism crimes and its financing," read the statement, adding that expatriates would also be deported.

Riyadh’s move appears to be part of the monarchy’s anti-Shia campaign, including a severe crackdown on nationals residing in Eastern Province. Last year, the kingdom executed prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, which drew widespread condemnation from rights groups and various states.

The Sunday announcement also follows recent decisions by pro-Saudi Arab factions, the Arab League and the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council, to brand Hezbollah as a "terrorist" group.

On Saturday, Hezbollah described such measures as a “declaration of aggression" by Riyadh, which is "putting pressure on others at the Arab foreign ministers meeting to do the same,” said Sheikh Naim Qassem, the deputy secretary general of the resistance movement.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku