Saudi protesters have once again taken to the streets in Riyadh, calling for the release of prisoners detained during anti-regime demonstrations. The demonstrators chanted slogans against the excessive use of force by Saudi forces in quelling anti-regime protests and condemned the Al Saud regime’s suppressive actions against dissidents. According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudi regime “routinely represses expression critical of the government.” According to Saudi activists, most of the detained political thinkers are being held by the government without trial or legitimate charges and that they were arrested for merely looking suspicious. In October, Saudi authorities warned that they would deal "firmly" with protests after hundreds of Saudis gathered outside Tafiya prison, north of the capital, in September to demand the release of their relatives.
Amnesty International has criticized Riyadh over the warning and urged the authorities to "withdraw their threat." In Saudi Arabia, protests and political gatherings of any kind are prohibited.Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Qatif and Awamiyah in Eastern Province. The demonstrations turned into protests against the Al Saud regime after November 2011 when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the province. AO/HN