Activists have called for anti-government protest rallies across Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province as tension remains high in the oil-rich region over the detention of a prominent Shia cleric.
The rallies will be held in Qatif, Awamiyah, Tarut, Safwa and Sihat to condemn Riyadh's deadly crackdown on protests. Demonstrations will also be held in the Bahraini towns of Sar and Daih in solidarity with the Saudi protesters.
On Sunday, Saudi security forces opened fire on demonstrators in Qatif, who were protesting against the detention of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nemr al-Nemr. At least three people were killed and many others injured in the attack.
The cleric was wounded after regime forces fired at his car in Awamiyah. There has been no word on his condition and whereabouts.
Since February 2011, Saudis have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in the Kingdom's Eastern Province, mainly in Qatif and the town of Awamiyah, calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the eastern region.
However, the demonstrations have turned into protests against the Al Saud regime, especially since November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the province.