Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Saudi Troops Carry Out Pre-Dawn Raid in Awamiyah

Saudi Arabian troops have opened fire in the town of Awamiyah in the kingdom’s Eastern Province, spreading panic among people.

Press TV
October 17, 2012

Saudi regime forces patrol the streets in the town of Awamiyah, Eastern Province. (File photo)
Saudi regime forces patrol the streets in the town of Awamiyah, Eastern Province. (File photo)

The incident occurred around 3 a.m. local time (00:00 GMT) on Tuesday when regime forces in armored vehicles started to patrol the streets around the town, the Al Jazeera Magazine reported.

Many were panicked after they were woken up by a sudden launch of gunfire by the troops who went on a shooting spree.

A number of civilian cars were damaged in the incident, which drew condemnation from human rights groups.

Since February 2011, Saudi Arabia has experienced anti-regime demonstrations on an almost regular basis in oil-rich Eastern Province, mainly in Awamiyah and the town of Qatif.

The protesters are calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination as well as an end to the despotic rule of the Al Saud regime.

Anti-regime sentiments hiked after November 2011, when the Al Saud regime forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the province. Security forces have also arrested dozens of people including prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nemr al-Nemr.

The crackdowns have been condemned by various human rights organizations.

Human Rights Watch has said the Saudi regime “routinely represses expression critical of the government.”

On Tuesday, Amnesty International called on Saudi authorities to stop excessive use of force “to stifle people’s attempts to protest against the widespread use of arbitrary detention in the country.”

According to the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, there are about 30,000 political prisoners in the kingdom.