|Saudi court sentences Shia protester to death||
A Saudi court on Monday sentenced to death the son of a senior Muslim cleric after he was convicted of shooting at security forces during anti-regime protests in the kingdom's Eastern Province, local media said, in the first such ruling in three years.
The mostly Shia residents of the eastern Qatif region have staged protests for decades calling for the overthrow of the Saudi ruling family over its discrimination targeting the minority group.
The latest wave of demonstrations coincided with the 2011 Arab uprisings. Police have shot dead at least 21 people in the Eastern Province since early 2011.
The www.rasid.net news website identified him as Rida al-Rubh, 26, and said his father, Sheikh Jaafar al-Rubh, has been leading contacts with the Saudi Interior Ministry to restore calm to the town of Awamiya, where most of the protests have taken place.
It said the youth plans to appeal the ruling, according to Reuters.
"This was the first death sentence of its kind since protest marches began in Qatif three years ago," sabq.org, another Saudi news website, said.
The Arabic daily Okaz said on its website that the man, whom it did not name, was found guilty of opening fire at security forces in the towns of Tarout and Darin, both east of the Qatif governorate, which has been at the heart of recent protests.
The newspaper made no reference to any casualties from the attack.
The Jeddah court also found him guilty of buying weapons and harboring a wanted man and rioters, it said.
The rasid.net website said that around 300 people are still held on charges linked to the protests.
Riyadh arrests 9 university professors
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian authorities arrested nine university professors over alleged links to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement, which is banned in the Saudi kingdom.
Saudi newspaper Okaz reported on Monday that the professors, two from Saudi Arabia and the rest from neighboring countries, had been involved with “foreign organizations” based on “voice recordings and emails” related to them.
The daily said in explanation that “foreign organizations” was a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Riyadh labeled as a “terror” group in March, a move that was slammed by the movement in Egypt. The newspaper further said that investigation is expected to be completed by mid-June. If convicted, the nine could receive 10- to 15-year jail terms.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has followed in Riyadh’s footsteps, have launched a crackdown on those accused of links to the Brotherhood.
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