On Friday, November 16, officials in Jerada province announced that 16 protesters had been sentenced to jail. According to local sources, the protesters were convicted for participating in a series of unauthorized demonstrations and for the destruction of public property. Demonstrations against the verdict are possible in the coming days. A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of any gathering.
Various demonstrations have been held in Jerada since December 2017 to demand job creation, economic development, and lower water and electricity prices. The protests started after two young people died while attempting to extract coal from a closed pit near the city. Mining was a major industry in Jerada province until the 1970s when most mines were closed. Due to the lack of other sources of income, local residents continue, at their own risk, to extract resources from the closed mines. Another three miners died in an abandoned zinc and lead mine near Jerada on November 13.
Individuals present in Jerada are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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