Several Saudi dissidents killed as regime forces storm Qatif
Story Code : 793743
Local sources, requesting anonymity, said security forces stormed into Sanabes village of Tarout Island on Saturday afternoon, triggering an exchange of gunfire with local residents.
The sources added that a number of distinguished opposition figures were fatally shot in the process.
'Riyadh regime has Trump, Congress green light for its crimes'
Meanwhile, a former head of the American visa bureau in Saudi Arabia’s port city of Jeddah says US President Donald Trump’s administration and Congress have given the Al Saud regime the green light to press ahead with its brutal crimes, namely the ongoing atrocious military aggression against Yemen.
J. Michael Springmann said Saudi crude oil and the kingdom’s weapons contracts with Western countries, such as Germany and France, have pushed the West to ignore numerous violations of international humanitarian law by Riyadh.
Springmann then described Eastern Province as the main center of Shia Islam, noting that followers of the radical ideology of Wahhabism display extreme sensitivity to any sort of activism in the area, and tend to link the public unrest there to foreign powers.
Saudi Arabia has stepped up what appears to be politically-motivated arrests, prosecution and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners.
Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.
The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime, with regime forces increasing security measures across the province.
Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to target activism.
In January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who was an outspoken critic of the Riyadh regime. Nimr had been arrested in Qatif, Eastern Province, in 2012.