A Saudi court has sentenced a Shia citizen to 30 years in prison for leading demonstrations in 2011 against a crackdown in neighboring Bahrain.
The official Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday that the man, whose name was not released, was also fined $40,000.
The Specialized Criminal Court in the capital, Riyadh, convicted the man of leading anti-government protests in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia.
Protests erupted in eastern Saudi Arabia, home to most of the country's minority Shia, the same year that Saudi-led Persian Gulf forces intervened in Bahrain to quell protests that threatened to topple the tiny island nation's Sunni monarch.
On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were sent to Bahrain to assist the Manama regime in its crackdown on peaceful protests.
In Saudi Arabia, protests and political gatherings of any kind are prohibited.
Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Qatif and the town of Awamiyah in Eastern Province, where the majority of the kingdom’s Shia Muslims are concentrated.
Primarily the protesters were calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination.
However, the demonstrations turned into protests against Al Saud, especially after November 2011, when security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the province.
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