Amnesty International says Saudi regime must end crackdown on protests

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Saudi Arab
Wednesday, 17 October 2012

saudi raliy shiaAmnesty International has called on Saudi authorities to stop excessive use of force against anti-regime protesters in the country.

“The Saudi authorities must end their repeated moves to stifle people’s attempts to protest against

the widespread use of arbitrary detention in the country,” Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director Philip Luther said on Tuesday.

“The right of people to peaceful protest must be respected and the security forces must refrain from detaining or using excessive force against people who exercise it.”

Amnesty’s statement comes in reaction to a recent threat by the Al Saud regime to take harsh measures against the protests, which are staged for the release of political prisoners.

On October 11, the Saudi Interior Ministry warned the Saudi public against staging demonstrations in the kingdom in support of the prisoners and pledged to deal “firmly” with those participating in such protest rallies.

Saudi authorities are facing a rise in protests against arbitrary detentions and widespread demands for the release of political prisoners.

According to the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, there are about 30,000 political prisoners in the kingdom.

Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in the Qatif region 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 repressive Al Saud regime, especially since November 2011 when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the province.

Saudi police make random arrests of people who allegedly look suspicious. The detainees are often held behind bars for years without any indictment.

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