Saudi rallies urge freedom for political prisoners

Saudi rallies urge freedom for political prisoners
Tue Jun 11, 2013 14:32:46

Saudi women have staged protest rallies in the capital Riyadh and the city of Buraidah, calling for the immediate release of political prisoners.

Saudi police attacked a crowd of women who had gathered outside the building of Human Rights in Ryadh, making some arrests. Some of the detainees were then taken to prison.

Also in Buraidah, women and relatives of the country’s political prisoners held a demonstration, demanding freedom for their loved ones.

Police cordoned off the streets around the area, arresting some of the protesters.      

The demonstrations come despite a strict ban by the Al Saud regime on anti-government protests. 

On March 1, Saudi security forces arrested over 300 protesters, including 15 women, after hundreds of people gathered outside the investigation and prosecution bureau in Buraidah to demand the release of political prisoners.

The kingdom, hit by anti-regime protests, has intensified its campaign of terror and crackdown against dissidents.

Activists said Saudi regime forces arrested dozens of prominent figures, including two Shia clerics Sheikh Mohammad al-Atiyah and Sheikh Badr al-Taleb, during the two-day period of March 17 and 18.

Since February 2011, demonstrators have held anti-regime protest rallies on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in the Qatif region and the town of Awamiyah in Eastern Province, primarily calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination.

However, the demonstrations have turned into protests against the repressive Al Saud regime, especially after November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the province.

According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudi regime “routinely represses expression critical of the government.”

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