Saudi protesters hold demo in Qatif

Saudi security forces stand guard in front of a group of demonstrators.
Thousands of Saudi protesters have taken to the streets in the Qatif region of the Eastern Province to condemn the killing of a 22-year-old man by security forces in the region last week, Press TV reports.

The anti-government protesters held a demonstration in the region on Tuesday.

Saudi security forces killed 22-year-old Essam Mohamed Abu Abdellah during a demonstration in the town of Awamiyah last week.

Amnesty International called on Saudi authorities on Friday to “immediately launch an independent investigation” into the death of Essam Mohamed and said the “investigations that were announced into previous protester deaths in similar incidents do not appear to have gone anywhere.”

In November 2011, security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the Eastern Province. The funerals for the victims usually turned into demonstrations with protesters chanting slogans against the Al Saud regime.

Since February 2011, Saudi protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in the oil-rich Eastern Province, specifically in Qatif and Awamiyah, calling for the release of all political prisoners, the exercise of freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination.

The Saudi Interior Ministry issued a statement on March 5, 2011, prohibiting “all forms of demonstrations, marches, or protests, and calls for them.”

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.”

On January 13, UK Prime Minister David Cameron met with Saudi King Abdullah and Crown Prince Nayef in his first trip to the kingdom as prime minister. The two sides discussed the “strengthening of security, trade and energy ties, and the sales of the latest technology and weaponry” to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is Britain’s biggest trade partner in the Middle East and its investment in the United Kingdom is worth at least USD 95 billion.

( / 18.01.2012)


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