Saudis have staged another anti-government protest rally in the eastern city of Qatif to express solidarity with the revolution in neighboring Bahrain.
Condemning the brutal crackdown in Bahrain, Saudi demonstrators on Friday called for the immediate withdrawal of the kingdom’s troops from the country and an end to Riyadh assistance to Manama in suppressing anti-regime protests.
The rally came one day after a protester was shot dead and two others were wounded after Saudi troops opened fire on a protest rally in the Awamiyah. It also came despite a strict ban imposed by Riyadh on any type of protest-gatherings across the country.
Saudis have held peaceful demonstrations since February last year on an almost regular basis in the eastern region, demanding reforms, freedom of expression and the release of political prisoners.
Protesters also want an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region. Several demonstrators have been killed and dozens of activists have been arrested since the beginning of protests in the region.
Riyadh has intensified its crackdown on protesters since the beginning of 2012.
On Tuesday, Saudi security forces opened fire on demonstrators in Qatif, injuring many people. Some of the wounded are reportedly in critical condition.
Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch have accused the Al Saud regime of silencing dissent through intimidation and violation of the basic rights of citizens.