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Hundreds of Saudi Shi’as Hold Anti-Regime Demo in Qatif

Saudis hold anti-regime demo in QatifSaudi protesters have taken to the streets in the Qatif region of the Eastern Province, waging yet another protest rally against the ruling Al Saud family

Demonstrators took to the streets in Qatif on Thursday and chanted slogans against the Al Saud family, specifically Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz. 

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 growingly 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 the 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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