Saudis continue to hold demonstrations in the country’s Eastern Province to protest against the detention of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nemr al-Nemr. Protesters on Monday chanted anti-government slogans in several cities and towns, including Qatif and Awamiyah, demanding the release of the cleric. Earlier on Monday, Saudi activists called for protests across Eastern Province, the epicenter of anti-regime rallies for over a year, a day after al-Nemr was arrested by Saudi forces in Awamiyah. The cleric was also wounded after the regime forces fired at his car. There has been no word on his condition and whereabouts. Al-Nemr had warned of the consequences of his possible detention, saying such a move would intensify the anti-government protests in Eastern Province.
On Sunday, Saudi security forces opened fire on demonstrators who had taken to the streets in the city of Qatif to express solidarity with the detained cleric, killing at least three protesters and injuring many others.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, calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination. 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 Eastern Province. AO/MA/HJL