Saudi dictatorship violence against democrats

This video is called 11 March 2011 Saudi Arabia Day of Rage.

From Associated Press:

Saudi Security Forces, Protesters Clash In East

October 4, 2011

Saudi police clashed with protesters in the country’s Shiite-dominated eastern region in a new ripple of unrest in the oil-rich kingdom, residents and security officials said Tuesday.

Police moved in on Monday to break up a second day of small protests against the arrests of the fathers of two fugitive dissidents, firing in the air and beating marchers with clubs, residents said.

There is a long history of discord between the kingdom’s Sunni rulers and the Shiite minority concentrated in the east, Saudi Arabia‘s key oil-producing region. Shiites make up 10 percent of the kingdom’s 23 million citizens and complain of discrimination, saying they are barred from key positions in the military and government and are not given an equal share of the country’s wealth.

As uprisings against autocratic rulers began to sweep the Arab world, small protests were held in eastern Saudi Arabia during the first three months of the year but were largely quelled.

Ultraconservative Saudi Arabia is deeply wary of the wave of Arab Spring uprisings, particularly in nearby Bahrain, where a Shiite majority is demanding greater rights from its Sunni rulers. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia led a Gulf military force that intervened in Bahrain to help the ruling family quell the revolt.

At home, the Saudi government announced an unprecedented economic package worth an estimated $36 billion to give Saudis interest-free home loans, unemployment assistance and debt forgiveness.

Al-Awamiya residents speaking to AP on condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisal said protests started on Sunday after authorities detained the fathers of two activists wanted for their part in earlier unrest.

In Monday’s confrontations, protesters threw stones and damaged vehicles in response to the police crackdown, residents said. …

Responding to the unrest spreading from North Africa to the Arabian side of the Gulf, Saudi Arabia warned earlier this year that demonstrations were forbidden in the kingdom, arguing that they contradict Islamic laws and society’s values. It also said security forces were authorized to act against anyone violating the protest ban.

Nonetheless, besides the Shiite protests, the Arab uprisings have inspired a group of Saudi women to protest the ban on female drivers in the kingdom. Scores of women have gotten behind the wheel this summer in a few Saudi cities.

Saudi Arabia: Police ‘open fire’ on protesters. Saudi forces reportedly laid siege to a Shia village in the east of the kingdom yesterday following the eruption of clashes, raising fears that the world’s biggest oil producer may not be immune to the unrest sweeping the Middle East: here.

Saudi police open fire on civilians as protests gain momentum. Insecure Saudis crack down on freedom protest: here.

Protesters rallied in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province on Tuesday to condemn a government crackdown on civil rights demonstrators the previous day which left up to 24 people injured: here.

Activists from Saudi Arabia’s heavily Shia Muslim-populated eastern province hit back on Wednesday at government claims that an unnamed foreign power – normally a code for Shia Iran – was behind violence there this week: here.

9 thoughts on “Saudi dictatorship violence against democrats

  1. Saudi Arabia threatens ‘iron fist’ after Shiite town attacks

    Glen Carey

    October 6, 2011

    DUBAI: Saudi Arabia vowed to use ”an iron fist” after 11 members of the security forces were injured during unrest in a Shiite Muslim town in the east, the official Saudi press agency said.

    The government accused an unnamed foreign country of seeking to undermine the stability of the kingdom as a result of the violence in Awwamiya, in which the assailants, some on motorcycles, used machine guns and Molotov cocktails, the Riyadh news service reported on Tuesday. A man and two women were also hurt, the news service said.

    Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil supplier, escaped the mass protests that toppled the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia this year and spread to Yemen and Bahrain. There were some rallies earlier in the year in mostly Shiite eastern Saudi Arabia, including Awwamiya and al-Qatif village.

    Predominantly Sunni Muslim, Saudi Arabia has accused Shiite-led Iran of interfering in the affairs of Arab countries in the Persian Gulf, home to three-fifths of the world’s oil reserves. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries sent troops to Bahrain in March to quell the mainly Shiite unrest.

    ”Given that this happened in the predominantly Shiite area of Saudi Arabia, in its east, this could be a sign of greater trouble ahead,” Paul Sullivan, a political scientist in Middle East security at Washington’s Georgetown University, said. ”Shiite-Sunni tensions are building in the region and Iran is one of the major culprits behind it.”

    King Abdullah announced $US130 billion ($136 billion) in spending in February and March in a bid to ensure the Arab Spring did not spread to Saudi Arabia, where its Shiite minority is concentrated in its eastern oil-producing hub.

    The US State Department noted in a report on Saudi Arabia in 2009 that Shiites in the kingdom face ”significant political, economic, legal, social and religious discrimination condoned by the government”.

    Saudi Arabia enforces restrictions interpreted from the Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam. In addition to restrictions on women, practices of other branches of Islam are limited.



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