Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saudis rally in Rabiyia to honor victims of crackdown

Saudi protesters rally in the town of Awamiyah, Eastern Province (File photo).

Source: Press TV

Saudis have held a protest rally in the eastern town of Rabiyia to commemorate anti-government protesters killed in government crackdown since last year.

Chanting anti-Al Saud slogans, the demonstrators criticized the Riyadh government for brutally suppressing protests.

They also condemned the country’s involvement in the Bahraini crackdown on peaceful protesters, calling for the withdrawal of KSA troops from the neighboring country.

Meanwhile, Saudi crown prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz has arrived in the US for medical tests. The 79-year-old would take over the rule of the oil-rich kingdom upon the death of King Abdullah, 87, who underwent three operations within a year.

Saudi Arabia is facing growing unrest and people have been demanding justice and the release of political prisoners since last year. Anti-government protest rallies are mostly held in the Kingdom's Eastern Province but despite a violent crackdown on demonstrations, it appears that the protests are now spreading across the country.

Saudis have held peaceful demonstrations in Eastern Province, mostly in Awamiyah and Qatif, since February last year on an almost regular basis, demanding reform, 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.

On February 23, protest rallies were held across the province to demand the prosecution of those who opened fire on demonstrators one week earlier. Saudi security forces broke up the rallies using force and arrested several demonstrators.

Riyadh has intensified its crackdown on protesters since the beginning of 2012.

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