Saudi Arab

Saudi demonstrators in Qatif demand release of Shia cleric

Saudia shia protestresSaudi protesters have taken to the streets in the Qatif region of Eastern Province to demand the release of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nemr al-Nemr.

The demonstrators on Sunday chanted slogans against the repressive regime of Al Saud.

Sheikh Nemr was attacked, injured and arrested by Saudi security forces while driving from a farm to his house in Qatif on July 8.

He is currently in a military hospital in the city of Dhahran.

The family of the detained Shia cleric was allowed to visit him for the first time since his arrest on Sunday.
On July 13, Saudi security forces in Awamiyah killed an 18-year-old protester during a demonstration held near a police station in support of Sheikh Nemr.

Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Qatif and the town of Awamiyah in Eastern Province, primarily 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 protests against the Al Saud regime, especially since November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in Eastern Province.

Similar demonstrations have also been held in the capital, Riyadh, and the holy city of Medina over the past few weeks.

According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudi regime “routinely represses expression critical of the government.”

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