JNN 10 May 2012 Riyadh : Saudi Arabia’s Eastern province has been hit by yet another anti-government protest rally in which demonstrators have condemned the long-time rule of Al Saud for its suppression of protests.
The protest erupted in the Qatif region on Wednesday following the beating of two women by Saudi forces.
The protesters also called for an end to Riyadh’s military intervention in neighboring Bahrain and the regime’s violation of people’s privacy in their homes.
The demonstration was staged despite a strict ban on all public gatherings.
Since February 2011, Saudi protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in the oil-rich Eastern Province, mainly in Qatif and the town of Awamiyah, 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 protest rallies against the Al Saud regime, especially since November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in Eastern Province.
The Saudi interior ministry issued a statement on March 5, 2011, prohibiting “all forms of demonstrations, marches or protests, and calls for them, because that contradicts the principles of the Islamic Sharia, the values and traditions of Saudi society, and results in disturbing public order and harming public and private interests.”
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.”
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also criticized the Al Saud regime for silencing dissent through intimidation and violation of the basic rights of citizens.
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