Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:55AM
Anti-regime protesters hold pictures of prominent Shia cleric Nemr al-Nemr during a rally in Saudi Arabia’s coastal town of Qatif on July 8, 2012.

Anti-regime protesters hold pictures of prominent Shia cleric Nemr al-Nemr during a rally in Saudi Arabia’s coastal town of Qatif on July 8, 2012.

Anti-regime protesters have demonstrated in Saudi Arabia to condemn the regime’s crackdown on peaceful protests and call for the release of political prisoners. On Wednesday, demonstrators held rallies against the repressive regime of Al Saud in Eastern Province, demanding an end to human rights violation in the monarchy. Saudi Arabia has arrested scores of anti-government protesters since the beginning of the uprising in the country. Prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nemr Baqir al-Nemr is among the detainees. Sheikh Nemr was injured and arrested by Saudi security forces of the Al Saud regime while driving from a farm to his house in Qatif on July 8. Similar protests were also held in Buraydah, about 380 kilometers (236 miles) northwest of the capital Riyadh, where demonstrators gathered in front of a mosque to express solidarity with political prisoners and called for their release. According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudi regime ''routinely represses expression critical of the government.” On Monday, Sweden's Defense Minister Karin Enstrom criticized the violation of human rights in Saudi Arabia, describing the kingdom as "an authoritarian regime and an absolute monarchy, where serious human rights crimes are committed." Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Qatif and Awamiyah in Eastern Province, primarily calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, as well as an end to widespread discrimination. However, the demonstrations have turned into protests against the repressive Al Saud regime, especially since November 2011 when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the province. MN/MA
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