Bahrainis once again slam Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on Shias

Bahraini protesters have once again taken to the streets in the island of Sitra to voice their anger at the crackdown on the Shia community in Saudi Arabia.

The demonstrators also expressed solidarity with Saudi Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who has been sentenced to death by the Saudi authorities.

Sheikh Nimr was attacked, wounded and arrested by Saudi security forces as he was en route to his house in the Qatif region of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province two years ago. He has been charged with disturbing the country’s security, giving anti-government speeches and defending political prisoners.

There have been numerous demonstrations in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province since 2011, with the protestors calling for political reform and an end to widespread discrimination.

Activists say there are over 30,000 political prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has come under fire from international human rights organizations, which have criticized the country for failing to address the rights situation in the kingdom. They say Riyadh has persistently implemented repressive policies that stifle freedom of expression, association and assembly.

Since mid-February 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have also staged numerous demonstrations in Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power, amid the regime heavy-handed crackdown on them.

On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to Bahrain to assist the Manama regime in its crackdown on the peaceful protesters. Bahrain has a Shia majority population while a minority of Saudi citizens are Shia Muslims.


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