SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Saudi protesters have held a demonstration in the capital Riyadh to demand the release of all political prisoners.
Anti-government demonstrators took to the streets in Riyadh on Wednesday.
The demonstration was held on the same day when human rights activist Waleed Abu al-Khair denied charges against him presented by a court on June 4.
Abu al-Khair said on Wednesday the charges of tarnishing the image of the monarchy and contempt for the country’s judiciary are an attempt to prevent him from working on human rights cases in the kingdom.
Riyadh is not the only place in Saudi Arabia to have witnessed protests demanding the release of political prisoners.
Since February 2011, Saudi protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in the oil-rich Eastern Province, mainly in the Qatif region 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 protests against the Al Saud regime, especially since November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the 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.”
According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudi regime “routinely represses expression critical of the government.” — www.shafaqna.com