Saudi dictatorship kills demonstrators


Activists posted this video from a protest in Qatif, Saudi Arabia on Monday 9 July.

From the New York Times in the USA:

July 9, 2012, 9:58 pm

At Least Two Protesters Are Killed in Saudi Arabia

By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ

The arrest of a prominent Shiite Muslim cleric over the weekend has ignited protests in eastern Saudi Arabia that have left at least two people dead, the Saudi interior ministry told news agencies on Monday.

The cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, is reported to be a prominent voice of protest among Saudi Arabia’s Shiites who say they face discrimination at the hands of dominant Sunnis in the workplace, universities and elsewhere. Mr. Nimr was arrested on Sunday for “sedition” after being shot in the leg in a tussle with the police, Saudi officials said.

The circumstances of his arrest remain murky. The authorities said that Mr. Nimr and his entourage opened fire on police officers attempting to arrest him before crashing into a security patrol while trying to escape, Reuters reported, citing government-run television.

[A] Video reportedly shot just after Mr. Nimr’s arrest shows the cleric lying in the back of a vehicle, his head cradled by a man in uniform. He is covered in either a white sheet or robes that appear to be covered in blood.

This video is said to show Sheik Nimr al-Nimr after his arrest on Sunday.

Word of Mr. Nimr’s arrest spread quickly through Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, an oil-producing hub heavily populated by Shiites. By nightfall on Sunday, hundreds of people reportedly gathered for a protest in the Qatif region.

In one video from the protest, a sizable crowd is seen walking down a street lined with palm trees. Loud pops, apparently gunshots, are audible at various points, and several injured people are shown being carried away. At least one of the injured was covered in blood.

Curiously, the shots fail to disperse the demonstrators who continue their boisterous march.

There were reports of another protest on Monday evening in the town of Awwamiya, also in the Qatif region. Video from that protest shows a large group of people chanting, “We will not be humiliated,” according to a Saudi journalist, Ahmed Al Omran, who posted a link to the video on Twitter.

This video is said to be from a protest in Awwamiya on Monday.

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