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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Saudi Arabia in line for Arab Spring? Protests increase in dictatorial monarchy!

Demonstrators have spilled on to the streets of the eastern Saudi city of Qatif, angered by the death of a man during the latest bout of protests in the country. Mohamed al-Felfel was one of two men shot dead on July after protests broke out following the arrest of Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Activists say the two men were killed by police snipers stationed on rooftops – an allegation the Saudi Interior Ministry denies. Videos posted online showed avenues filled with rows of chanting mourners. Other videos showed youths throwing incendiary devices at what appeared to be a police car, and rocks at a government building.
Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province is home to a Shiite population that has long complained of discrimination by the Sunni ruling family – yet another claim the government dismisses as groundless. Shiite community leaders have appealed for calm, urging people to avoid involvement in situations that could get out of hand and lead to bloodshed. They also appealed to security forces to exercise restraint and patience, which will help the community get through a “dangerous and critical period.” Oil-rich Saudi Arabia has largely escaped the Arab Spring that forced leaders in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen out of power. But in neighboring Bahrain, similar protests have been going on for months, with Shiite majorities demanding political reforms from the ruling Sunni Al Khalifa family.
An anti-government protester holds a placard during a demonstration in the village of Sitra, south of Manama, June 7, 2012 (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)09.07, 23:372 comments

Bahrain imprisons leading rights activist over pro-democracy tweet

Prominent Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab has been sentenced to three months in jail on charges linked to anti-government messages he posted on Twitter.
Arab world protests
Shia rally in Qatif (photo from Facebook). Youtube video courtesy of Intifadatalkarama09.07, 16:1112 comments

Saudi shootout and crackdown: Two dead as police squash Shia rally

Two people were reportedly shot dead and two more were wounded after police dispersed a Shia Muslim rally in Saudi Arabia. Hundreds of protesters took to the streets chanting anti-government slogans following the arrest of a popular Shia cleric.
Arab world protests

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