Saudis rally against Al Saud rule

Jan 22, 2012 12:00 AM

Demonstrators took to the streets in Qatif and expressed determination to continue their anti-regime protests.
The protesters said those authorities involved in the killing of demonstrators in Eastern Province must face prosecution.

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia, warned the kingdom against the brutal crackdown on protesters in Eastern Province and called on the Al Saud regime to stop bloodshed.
Since February 2011, Saudi protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in the oil-rich Eastern Province, mainly in Qatif and the town of Awamiyah, 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 protest rallies against the Al Saud regime, especially since November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in Eastern Province.

The Saudi interior ministry issued a statement on March 5, 2011, prohibiting “all forms of demonstrations, marches or protests, and calls for them, because that contradicts the principles of the Islamic Sharia, the values and traditions of Saudi society, and results in disturbing public order and harming public and private interests”.
Saudi Arabia is a state party to the Arab Charter on Human Rights. Article 24 of the charter states that “every citizen has the right… to freely pursue a political activity [and] to freedom of association and peaceful assembly”.

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