Saudi forces continue to detain Shias

April 23, 2011 - 0:0

TEHRAN - The Saudi Arabian authorities have arrested Shia Muslim citizens in the oil-producing Eastern Province, where Shias staged protests on Tuesday.

The security forces arrested Shia citizens Mofeed al-Faraj and Abudullah Hassan Rabee in the village of Awwamiyah, located near the city of Qatif, ABNA quoted human rights activists as saying on Friday.
After the arrest, security forces raided the home of one of the detainees and confiscated a laptop and other personal belongings.
Hundreds of Saudi Shias have held demonstrations in the Eastern Province, where most of them live, to call for the release of prisoners held without trial and political and religious rights, according to Shia activists.
Shias in the Eastern Province have long complained of discrimination.
On Wednesday, activists in the Eastern Province said the Saudi authorities released 13 Shia prisoners who were detained after taking part in demonstrations last month. But many others are still in custody, they added.
Saudi teachers protest
Meanwhile, dozens of teachers in Saudi Arabia’s northwestern city of Ha’il took to the streets on Thursday, demanding job security and better wages from the government.
The teachers gathered in front of the city’s management and education building to protest about the fact that they have “no job security,” Press TV reported.
About 250 unemployed university graduates staged a demonstration last week in Riyadh, vowing to continue holding demonstrations until the Persian Gulf country creates jobs for them.
Teachers have staged several protests in recent months calling for job security as well as better wages. In last August, they even met with the Education Ministry to lodge their complaint, but claim that no action has yet been taken.
In Saudi Arabia, protests of any kind are forbidden and illegal. However, many demonstrations against the government and its policies have taken place over the past few months.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter and a major U.S. ally, is an absolute monarchy that tolerates no form of dissent.
So far, it has not experienced the kind of mass uprisings that have rocked other autocratic Arab regimes over the past few months.
The protests of the past few weeks have resulted in police detentions of some demonstrators, but almost no Saudis responded to a Facebook call for demonstrations in the kingdom on March 11 amid a high security presence.