Anti-regime protests hit Saudi Arabia's Qatif

Anti-regime protests hit Saudi Arabia's Qatif
Fri Jun 28, 2013 20:19:45

Saudi protesters have taken to the streets in Qatif to object regime's crackdown on rallies and voice support for the prisoners arrested during previous protests.

On Thursday, the demonstrators called on Saudi authorities to release jailed opposition activists and prisoners of conscience including prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who has long been held in custody without trial.

The Saudi protesters denounced the regime’s deadly crackdown on rallies and chanted slogans against Al Saud family.

The protest comes a day after massive funeral processions were held in the town of Awamiyah and the Qatif region for two activists killed by regime forces

More than 40,000 political prisoners, mostly prisoners of conscience, are in jails across Saudi Arabia.

According to the activists, most of the detained political thinkers are being held by the government without trial or legitimate charges and have been arrested for merely looking suspicious.

Some of the detainees are reported to be held without trial for more than 16 years. Attempting to incite the public against the government and the allegiance to foreign entities are usually the ready-made charges against dissidents.

In Saudi Arabia, protests and political gatherings of any kind are prohibited.

Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Qatif and Awamiyah, primarily calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination.

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